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Civil War Sesquicentennial
The Great Uprising of the North--An Anniversary Picture--April 12, 1862.
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a continuing series of online features explores the Senate's wartime experience.
This Week in Senate History
September 3, 1812

After Louisiana became the 18th state in the Union on April 30, 1812, the Louisiana state legislature elected the state's first two U.S. senators, Jean N. Destréhan and Allan B. Magruder, on September 3, 1812.

Floor Schedule

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015

2:00 p.m.: Convene and begin consideration of H.J.Res.61, Hire More Heroes Act of 2015.

Previous Meeting

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015

The Senate convened at 11:30 a.m. for a pro forma session.

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Classic Senate Speeches

In the 19th century, senators, representatives, reporters, and the general public often crowded into the Senate Chamber to listen to major speeches. Such addresses were often long, sometimes stretching over two or three days, and frequently controversial. Although rhetorical styles have changed and few modern senators enjoy standing-room-only audiences in the Senate Chamber, debate on a crucial national issue can still stimulate an impassioned and closely reasoned Senate speech designed to sway listeners and attract votes on legislation.

Classic Senate speeches include those of substantial historical significance and those that marked moments of high drama, such as William Seward’s maiden speech in the Senate in support of the anti-slavery movement, “Freedom in the New Territories,” or Arthur Vandenberg’s “speech heard around the world,” which marked his conversion from isolationism to internationalism and called on America to assume the responsibilities of world leadership. Margaret Chase Smith’s “Declaration of Conscience” was a denunciation of Senator Joe McCarthy’s tactics. Everett Dirksen’s speech supporting civil rights helped persuade a number of senators to vote to close debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This month the Senate celebrates these classic speeches for shedding light on particular issues and eras in our nation’s history.

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