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All-Night Sessions of the Senate (1915-Present) [1]

Year

Subject

Length

Note

1915Ship Purchase Act

From noon on Feb 8 until 6:00 p.m. on Feb 10. (54 hours)

1927Resolution to continue investigation of the Frank L. Smith-William S. Vare election casesFrom 11:00 a.m. on Mar 2 to 12:02 a.m. on Mar 4. (37 hours, 2 minutes)
1935National Recovery Act ExtensionFrom noon on Jun 12 until 6:20 a.m. on Jun 13. (18 hours, 20 minutes)
1947Veto of labor billFrom noon on Jun 20 to 6:52 p.m. on Jun 21. (30 hours, 52 minutes)
1948Closing sessionFrom 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Jun 18, to 7:14 a.m. on Sunday, Jun 20. (44 hours, 14 minutes)
1950Closing sessionFrom 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Sep 22, to 5:23 p.m. on Saturday, Sep 23. (29 hours, 53 minutes)This was the session in which Senator William Langer (R-ND) collapsed during a filibuster on the veto of the Communist registration bill.
1952Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1953From noon on Saturday, Jul 5, to 5:09 a.m. Sunday, Jul 6. (17 hours, 9 minutes)
1953Tidelands billFrom 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Apr 24, to 3:50 p.m. on Saturday, Apr 25. (28 hours, 50 minutes)During this session, Senator Wayne Morse (R/I/D/-OR) broke the then-existing record for the longest Senate speech, taking the floor at 11:40 a.m. and speaking for 22 hours, 26 minutes. The Senate then took up and passed rent control, after which Senator James E. Murray (R-MT) spoke for four hours.
1954Atomic Energy billFrom 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Jul 21, to 1:34 a.m. on Friday, Jul 23. (39 hours, 34 minutes)
1954Atomic Energy billFrom 2:00 a.m. on Friday, Jul 23 to 11:49 p.m. on Saturday, Jul 24. (45 hours, 49 minutes)
1954Atomic Energy billFrom 10:00 a.m. on Monday, Jul 26 to 9:56 p.m. on Tuesday, Jul 27. (35 hours, 56 minutes)
1957Civil rights debateFrom 10:00 a.m. on Aug 28, to 12:59 a.m. on Aug 30. (38 hours, 59 minutes)Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina began his speech at 8:54 p.m. on Aug 28 and spoke until 9:12 p.m. on Aug 29 (24 hours, 18 minutes). Interruptions for other business totaled 1 hour 18 minutes. This speech broke Senator Morse's record for the longest Senate speech.
1960Civil rights (a bill to lease a building at Fort Crowder, MO, was used as vehicle for civil rights amendments).From noon on Monday, Feb 29, to 5:31 p.m. on Saturday, Mar 5. (125 hours, 16 minutes; includes a 15-minute recess on Mar 2)The longest unbroken session during that period took 82 hours, 2 minutes, from Mar 2 to Mar 5.
1960Sugar ActFrom 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jul 2, to 8:33 a.m. on Sunday, Jul 3. (22 hours, 33 minutes)
1961Nomination of Lawrence J. O'Conner, Jr. of Texas to be a member of the Federal Power CommissionFrom 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug 8, to 5:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug 9. (31 hours, 59 minutes)Senator William Proxmire (D-WI), who objected to the nomination, held the floor for much of this time, yielding for the transaction of other business with the understanding that he would not lose the floor.
1964Civil rights debateFrom 10:00 a.m. on Jun 9 to 9:51 a.m. on Jun 10. (23 hours, 51 minutes)Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) began a speech at 7:38 p.m. and spoke for 14 hours and 13 minutes
1977Natural Gas Policy ActFrom 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sep 27, to 7:12 a.m. on Wednesday, Sep 28. (22 hours, 12 minutes)Senators Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) and James Abourezk (D-SD) conducted a "dilatory tactic filibuster."
1978Closing sessionFrom 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct 14, to 7:16 p.m. on Sunday, Oct 15. (34 hours, 16 minutes)The Senate passed many bills, but the two main items were the conference reports on energy tax and income tax.
1980Selective ServiceFrom 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Jun 20, to 6:43 p.m. on Wednesday, Jun 21. (32 hours, 43 minutes)
1981Debt limitFrom 11:00 a.m. on Sep 28, to 10:26 a.m. on Sep 29. (23 hours, 26 minutes)Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) spoke for 16 hours, 12 minutes, from early evening on Sep 28 until mid-morning on Sep 29 against allowing the national debt to go over $1 trillion. Four minutes after recessing, at 10:30 a.m., the Senate reconvened, adjourning at 10:16 p.m. (11 hours, 46 minutes)
1981Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1982From 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, Nov 19, to 6:52 a.m. on Friday, Nov 20. (20 hours, 52 minutes)
1982Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1983From 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, Dec 16, to 11:36 p.m. on Friday, Dec 17. (37 hours, 51 minutes)
1984Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1985From 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct 3, to 9:32 a.m. on Thursday, Oct 4. (22 hours, 32 minutes)
1986Public debt limit increaseFrom 9:30 a.m. Aug 15 to 4:03 a.m. on Aug 16. (18 hours, 33 minutes)
1986Veto of South African Sanction and Continuing ResolutionFrom 8:30 a.m. on Oct 2 to 5:27 a.m. on Oct 3. (20 hours, 57 minutes)
1988Senate Election Campaign ActFrom 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb 23, to 7:24 p.m. on Thursday, Feb 25. (57 hours, 24 minutes)
1992Tax billFrom 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct 5, to 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct 6. (33 hours, 35 minutes)During this time, Senator Alphonse D'Amato (R-NY) spoke for 15 hours and 14 minutes in support of an amendment to the bill. The Senate then recessed for one hour and reconvened at 8:05 p.m. on Oct 6; recessed again from 8:06 p.m. until 10:32 p.m.; adjourned until the next day at 10:47 p.m.
1994Congressional Campaign Spending Limit and Election Reform ActFrom 10:00 a.m. on Sep 22 to 4:41 p.m. on Sep 23. (30 hours, 41 minutes)
2003Judicial NominationsFrom 9:30 a.m. on Nov 12 to 3:06 p.m. on Nov 14. (53 hours, 36 minutes) [2]
2006Tax and Trade package, and continuing resolutionFrom 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec 8 to 4:40 a.m. on Saturday, Dec 9. (19 hours, 10 minutes)
2007Iraq War PolicyFrom 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Jul 17, until 5:09 p.m. on Wednesday, Jul 18. (31 hours, 9 minutes)
2012Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013From 12 p.m. on Friday, September 21, until 4:03 a.m. on Saturday, September 22.(14 hours, 3 minutes)
2013Budget ResolutionFrom 9 a.m. on Friday, March 22, until 5:22 a.m. on Saturday, March 23.(20 hours, 22 minutes)
2013Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013From 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 24, until 8:11 p.m. on Wednesday, Spetember 25.(34 hours, 11 minutes)
2013Post-cloture debate on executive and judicial nominationsFrom 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11, until 2:11 p.m. on Friday, December 13, 2013.(48 hours, 11 minutes)
2014Climate changeFrom 4:00 p.m., Monday, March 10, until 8:54 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (16 hours, 54 minutes)

Total: 36

[1] Sessions continuing until 4:00 a.m. or later have been considered all-night sessions here. Those ending earlier have not been included in this list. Other all-night sessions may have occurred for which no records have been found.

[2] The Senate recessed from 12:30-2:16 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12, for caucus luncheons.

Senate Historical Office

March 2014