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Campaign to put Sen. Hattie Caraway on $10 bill emerges

Photo: Senate.gov

A woman's place is not in the kitchen - it's on the $10 bill, and a group of Jonesboro leaders want to see an Arkansas historical and political icon earn that distinction.

The Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce is working on a campaign to place former Sen. Hattie Caraway, D-Ark. on the currency that currently displays founding father and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton on the money.

Officials with the Treasury Department announced this week that a woman will be on the $10 bill starting in 2020 to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

The move is also part of a scheduled redesign of the $10 bill, a systematic process designed to ensure that new anti-counterfeiting safeguards are updated to protect the nation's currency.

Cari White, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Jonesboro Chamber, said she is helping create a social media campaign to rally support for Caraway - the first female elected to the U.S. Senate - to be placed on the currency.

The campaign was posted on the Arkansas State University Facebook page Thursday.

"Good morning from Jonesboro. On this #?TBT, we applaud the efforts of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce and join them their efforts to put Hattie Wyatt Caraway, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, on the $10 bill," the post noted. "A Jonesboro resident, Sen. Caraway was instrumental in keeping A-State from closing its doors during the 1930s."

The post had over 150 likes by Thursday night.

White said Caraway, who was the first woman elected U.S. senator and the first woman to preside over the U.S. Senate, was a supporter of women's and farmers' rights as well as the New Deal policies of then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

While Caraway has ties to Northeast Arkansas, White said she is hopeful that it is an issue that receives support statewide.

"We hope to create a swell in Arkansas. And we want everyone in Arkansas to get behind it," White said.

Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway was appointed in 1931 to fill the vacancy created when her husband, Thaddeus died. She won a special election in 1932, in part due to campaigning support from legendary Louisiana Sen. Huey P. Long.

In 1938, Caraway successfully ran for re-election against Congressman John L. McClellan, whose campaign slogan was "We need another man in the Senate," and she won with the support of veterans, women, and union members, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas web site.

Caraway was defeated by J. William Fulbright in 1944. Her term ended on January 2, 1945.

While an announcement is expected by the end of the year on the new $10 bill, it will not go into circulation until 2020, officials said Thursday.

People interested in participating in the project can go to this link.

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