The Senate

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The Hundred Days March – June 1933

The crisis of the Great Depression demanded action. During his 1932 presidential campaign, Franklin D. Roosevelt advised: “Take a method and try it. If it fails . . . try another. But above all, try something.” When Congress convened on March 9, 1933, it joined President Roosevelt in a flurry of legislation to restore America’s confidence and prosperity.

Furious Confirmation Battle 1916

Louis D. Brandeis—called the “People’s Lawyer”— had built a national reputation by fighting monopolies and defending consumers. He also was the first person of Jewish descent nominated to the Supreme Court. In the furious 1916 confirmation battle, opponents of the controversial lawyer, some veiling their anti-Semitism, called Brandeis a dangerous radical lacking judicial temperament.

Eyewitness to History 1831-1895

Isaac Bassett walked the Senate halls for 64 years. Appointed a page in 1831 by Daniel Webster, Bassett served later as messenger and then as Assistant Doorkeeper before his death in 1895. In his later years, reporters and visitors often sought out the old man, eager to hear stories of the Senate's "golden era."

Seniority and Power: The Senate Four 1897-1909

After the Civil War, Senate activity shifted from individuals to groups of members formed into committees. This gave tremendous power to important committee chairmen. By 1900, four senators known as the "Senate Four" dominated the most important Senate committees: Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island (Finance); William Allison of Iowa (Appropriations); John C. Spooner of Wisconsin (Rules); and Orville Platt of Connecticut (Judiciary).

Senate Chamber, 1867

Mon, 2013-02-18 17:41 -- administrator

Senate Chamber, 1867

The more spacious Senate Chamber that opened in 1859 reflected the greater role of Congress in addressing the needs of a growing nation.

Architect of the Capitol


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