On this day 86 years ago, Hattie Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. The Democrat from Arkansas was the first female to serve a full term and the first woman to preside over the Senate. (1932)

Caraway surprised Arkansas politicians by announcing that she would run for a full term, joining a field already crowded with prominent candidates who had assumed she would step aside following her appointment to serve out her late husband’s term. She told reporters, “The time has passed when a woman should be placed in a position and kept there only while someone else is being groomed for the job.”

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Jack London, the adventurer, workers’ rights activist, and author of novels like The Call of the Wild and White Fang, was born in San Francisco (1876)
  • Rocky Mountain National Park was established by the US Congress to protect 415 square miles of spectacular mountain peaks towering at 12,000-ft high in Colorado (1915)
  • The first person was cryonically preserved for later resuscitation (1967)
  • Led Zeppelin‘s debut album was released after just 36 hours of studio recording  and mixing (1969)
  • Mali votes for new constitution granting political freedom to parties (1992)

And, on this day in 1971, the American sit-com All In the Family debuted on CBS. The controversial comedy was the first to portray on television the sexism and racism in American families.