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This Day in Georgia History

October 03, 1922

Rebecca Latimer Felton Appointed to Senate

To view an image of Rebecca Latimer Felton, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Following the death of U.S. Senator Tom Watson, on this day Georgia Gov. Thomas Hardwick appointed Rebecca Latimer Felton to temporarily fill Watson’s seat until Walter F. George, elected in a special election, could officially take office. Felton was 87 years old at the time, and Gov. Hardwick was attempting to honor her for a life of service to causes in which she believed. She took the appointment seriously, though many senators opposed her actually being allowed to take the oath of office. Initially denied a chance to officially become a senator, Felton attended Senate sessions on Nov. 21 and 22 and sat in the gallery. Through the efforts of Walter George, senators finally gave in and Felton was officially sworn in becoming the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.