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J. Franklin Little: Senate Page (1910-1912)

“Never more than two hours at a time, and always backwards”

Little, interviewed by Senate Historian Donald Ritchie, recalls the Senate's habit of turning back the clock to delay the midnight deadline at the end of a legislative session.

Ritchie: How did you find the late night sessions?

Little: Boresome. The trouble with me was I lived too close. I just lived at 131 A Street, Southeast, just a half a block off. They made me stay there for night sessions.

Ritchie: Do you remember if sessions ever went all around the clock until the next morning?

Little: I remember them running right on through the clock. Then they would let me go home.

Ritchie: Did you ever see them set back the clock?

Little: Oh, many a time.

Ritchie: How did it work?

Little: Well, one fellow would be down on the floor in front of it, and another fellow would go upstairs through the Press Gallery, and he would reach over and take his finger and set it back.

Ritchie: That was at midnight before the session would end.

Little: Never more than one or two hours at a time, and always backwards.

Ritchie: Would they send a page up to do that?

Little: No, sergeant-at-arms outfit.

Ritchie: Well, you had quite some experiences as a page.


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