Desk History & Mystery
 Candy Desk Candy Desk
Traditions associated with the Senate desks continue to evolve. A recent example is the so-called "Candy Desk." In 1965 Senator George Murphy...more
Names Listed inside the Desk Drawer Names Listed inside the Desk Drawer
The easiest method of tracing the history of each desk is to read the names listed inside the desk drawers...more
 Cherokee Strip Cherokee Strip
Occasionally one party maintains such an overwhelming majority that it has become necessary for majority members to sit on the minority side...more
 Choosing Desks Choosing Desks
At the beginning of each new Congress, the party secretaries ask senators if they would like to change locations on their side of the Chamber...more
 Daniel Webster Desk Daniel Webster Desk
In 1974 the Senate adopted Senate Resolution 469 (93rd Congress, 2nd session) introduced by New Hampshire Senator Norris Cotton. The resolution...more
 Henry Clay Desk Henry Clay Desk
In 1999 the Senate adopted Senate Resolution 89 (106th Congress, 1st session) introduced by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell...more
 Isaac Bassett Protects Jefferson Davis's Desk during the Civil War Isaac Bassett Protects Jefferson Davis's Desk during the Civil War
In the early days of the Civil War, federal troops were housed in the U.S. Capitol. Isaac Bassett, who worked in the...more
 Jefferson Davis Desk Jefferson Davis Desk
In 1995 the Senate adopted Senate Resolution 161 (104th Congress, 1st session) introduced by Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran...more
 Numbering Systems Numbering Systems
The Senate Chamber desks are not arranged on the Senate floor in numerical order. To keep track of the desks over the years...more
 Party Leaders Party Leaders
The seating of the majority and minority leaders at the front row desks on either side of the center aisle of the Senate Chamber is a relatively...more
 Seating Arrangement Seating Arrangement
The custom of dividing the Senate desks by party is almost as old as the parties themselves. Democrats traditionally sit to the presiding officer's...more
 Setting up the Desks by the Senate Pages Setting up the Desks by the Senate Pages
Isaac Bassett, who served in the Senate Chamber for 64 years, began his career as a Senate page in 1831...more
 Speech Reinforcement System Speech Reinforcement System
For many years, the poor acoustics of the Senate Chamber were a constant topic of concern...more
 Hollywood Movie Prop Desk Hollywood Movie Prop Desk
The climactic scene of the classic 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington features Jefferson Smith, played by Jimmy Stewart...more
 Senate Chamber Chairs Senate Chamber Chairs
When British troops burned the Capitol in 1814, the Senate Chamber was extensively damaged and its furnishings destroyed...more
Senate Chamber Memorial Services and Funerals Senate Chamber Memorial Services and Funerals
The Senate has recognized the death of incumbent members in many ways over the years...more
Thomas Constantine, Cabinetmaker Thomas Constantine, Cabinetmaker
On June 23, 1818, Speaker of the House Henry Clay received 13 bids on a project to completely refurnish the House Chamber...more
A Record-Setting Filibuster A Record-Setting Filibuster
The drawer of Senate Chamber desk LXXXVI (86) is inscribed with the notation "spoke 24 hrs. 18 min. from this desk in 1957."...more
Wooden Tray for Writing Tools Wooden Tray for Writing Tools
Each of the 100 desks in the Senate Chamber holds a detachable wooden tray made for writing tools....more