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1796 (March 3)

The Senate approved the Treaty of San Lorenzo (or Pinckney's Treaty), acquiring the land forming the future state of Alabama.


1817 (March 3)

The Mississippi Territory was divided into the state of Mississippi and the Territory of Alabama.


1819 (December 14)

Alabama became the 22nd state in the Union.


1819 (December 14)

Following the admission of Alabama as a state into the Union, John W. Walker of Huntsville, the state's first U.S. senator, took the oath of office and was seated.


1819 (December 22)

William R. King of Cahaba, Alabama's second U.S. senator, took his oath of office and was seated. Senators King and Walker then drew lots to determine their class assignments. King drew Class 2 with a term to expire March 3, 1823. Walker drew Class 3, with a term to expire March 3, 1825.


1832 (December 10)

William R. King became chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, a position he held from 1832 to 1833, and again from 1836 to 1841.


1836 (July 1)

The Senate elected William R. King as president pro tempore. King served 10 separate terms as president pro tempore between 1836 and 1841.


1837 (September 25)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of John McKinley as the 23rd associate justice of the Supreme Court.


1841 (March 14)

Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky apologized to Alabama senator William R. King. Following a dispute over Senate printers, King challenged Clay to a duel. When the two men began to prepare for an actual duel, the Senate's sergeant at arms arrested both men. A formal apology from Clay ended the dispute without bloodshed.


1846 (December 14)

Arthur P. Bagby of Tuscaloosa, elected to the Senate in 1841, became chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, a position he held from 1846 to 1847.


1846 (December 14)

Dixon H. Lewis of Lowndesboro, who entered the Senate in 1844, became chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, a position he held from 1846 to 1848.


1849 (December 18)

William R. King became chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a position he held from 1849 to 1851.


1852 (November 2)

Senator William R. King was elected vice president of the United States on the Democratic ticket with Franklin Pierce. King was the first senator to gain a major party's nomination for the vice presidency. By special act of Congress, King was permitted to take the oath of office in Havana, Cuba, on March 4, 1853, where he was recovering from health problems. Returning to his home in Alabama, King died a month later, on April 18, 1853, without ever assuming his duties as vice president.


1853 (March 22)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Alabama state legislator John A. Campbell as the 29th associate justice of the Supreme Court.


1857 (December 7)

The Senate elected Benjamin Fitzpatrick of Wetumpka, who began his Senate service in 1848, as president pro tempore. Fitzpatrick served nine separate terms as president pro tempore between 1857 and 1860.


1857 (December 16)

Clement C. Clay Jr. of Huntsville, who began his Senate service in 1853, became chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), a position he held from 1857 to 1861.


1861 (January 11)

Alabama seceded from the Union. Ten days later, Senators Clement Clay and Benjamin Fitzpatrick withdrew from the Senate. The Senate declared the seats vacant on March 14, 1861.


1868 (July 13)

Alabama was allowed to resume representation in the U.S. Congress. On July 21, George E. Spencer of Decatur was elected, and on July 23, Willard Warner of Montgomery, was elected, becoming Alabama's first post-Civil War U.S. senators.


1872 (January 9)

The Senate voted to seat George T. Goldthwaite of Montgomery following a contested election.


1877 (March 9)

George E. Spencer became chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs (today's Committee on Armed Services), a position he held from 1877 to 1879.


1879 (March 19)

John T. Morgan became chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules (today's Committee on Rules and Administration), a position he held from 1879 to 1881.


1893 (March 15)

James L. Pugh of Eufaula, who began his Senate service in 1880, became chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, a position he held from 1893 to 1895.


1893 (March 15)

John T. Morgan became chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a position he held from 1893 to 1895.


1896

The U.S. Senate acquired a bust of former vice president William R. King for the Vice Presidential Bust Collection. The marble bust was carved by William C. McCaulsen.


1908 (April 6)

Congress accepted a statue of Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, one of Alabama's two contributions to the National Statuary Hall Collection. The seven-foot-four-inch marble statue was designed by artist Dante Sodini.


1910

The Senate acquired a portrait of former Alabama senator John T. Morgan from Morgan's daughter, Cornelia.


1913 (March 15)

Joseph F. Johnston of Birmingham, who began his Senate service in 1907, became chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs (today's Committee on Armed Services).


1914 (February 4)

The Senate voted to deny a seat to Franklin P. Glass who had been appointed by Alabama governor Emmett O'Neal.


1914 (May 11)

Frank S. White of Birmingham became Alabama’s first directly elected senator after ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913. He ran in a special election to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1915, caused by the death of Senator Joseph Johnston.


1920 (April 27)

Oscar W. Underwood of Birmingham, who began his Senate service in 1915, was elected chairman of the Democratic Conference. Beginning in 1920, the Democratic Conference chairperson also served as Democratic floor leader. On April 27, 1920, Underwood became the first officially designated Democratic floor leader, a position he held until 1925.


1925 (March 12)

Congress unveiled a statue of Joseph Wheeler, the second of Alabama's two contributions to the National Statuary Hall Collection. The seven-foot bronze statue was designed by Berthold Nebel.


1927 (March 5)

Hugo L. Black of Birmingham, who began his Senate service in 1927, was elected secretary of the Democratic Conference, a position he held for 10 years.


1931 (March 4)

John H. Bankhead II of Jasper took the oath of office as U.S. senator, becoming the third of four members of the Bankhead family to serve Alabama in the U.S. Congress. His father, John H. Bankhead, served in the Senate from 1907 to 1920. His brother, William B. Bankhead, had been serving in the House of Representatives since 1917.


1932 (April 26)

J. Thomas "Cotton Tom" Heflin of Lafayette delivered his last blast in the Senate Chamber following his defeat as an independent candidate for the Senate in 1930. Heflin contested the election results and when the issue was debated by the full Senate, was allowed the unusual honor of speaking on his own behalf, even though he had been out of office for more than a month.


1933 (February 25)

The Senate approved Alabama senator Hugo Black's resolution 349, to establish a special investigatory committee to inquire into the government's system of awarding of air and ocean mail contracts. Black was appointed chairman. The investigation lasted three years and led to passage of the Air Mail Act of 1934.


1937 (January 8)

Hugo L. Black became chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor (today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions).


1937 (August 17)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Hugo L. Black as the 68th associate justice of the Supreme Court.


1937 (August 20)

Dixie Bibb Graves of Montgomery became the first woman to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Appointed by her husband, Governor Bibb Graves, to fill a vacant seat, Graves served until January 10, 1938.


1941 (January 4)

J. Lister Hill of Montgomery, who began his Senate service in 1938, was elected Democratic Party whip, a position he held for six years.


1952 (November 4)

Senator John J. Sparkman of Huntsville ran unsuccessfully for vice president of the United States on the Democratic ticket with presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. They lost to Dwight D. Eisenhower and Senator Richard M. Nixon.


1955 (January 11)

J. Lister Hill became chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions), a position he held from 1955 to 1969.


1967 (January 11)

John J. Sparkman became chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency (today's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs), a position he held from 1967 to 1975.


1969

James B. Allen of Gadsden received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session. On September 18, 1970, Senator Allen received a second Golden Gavel Award for presiding an additional 100 hours.


1975 (January 17)

Senator John J. Sparkman became chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a position he held from 1975 to 1977.


1977 (October 30)

Senator John J. Sparkman became Alabama’s longest-serving senator, surpassing J. Lister Hill's record of 30 years, 11 months, and 24 days. Sparkman went on to serve a total of 32 years, 1 month, and 28 days.


1978 (June 12)

Maryon P. Allen of Gadsden became the second woman to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Appointed on June 8, 1978, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Senator James B. Allen, she took her seat on June 12, 1978, and served until November 7, 1978.


1980 (February 18)

Senator Donald W. Stewart of Anniston delivered George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address on the floor of U.S. Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.


1986

Senator Hugo L. Black was featured on a U.S. postage stamp, one of the "Great Americans" series.


1986 (October 3)

Senator Jeremiah Denton of Mobile received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.


1988 (August 2)

Senator Richard C. Shelby of Tuscaloosa received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session


1994 (November 9)

With the Republican Party winning control of the House and Senate, Alabama senator Richard C. Shelby, a conservative Democrat who previously served in the House, switched to the Republican Party, taking advantage of his seniority in the Senate to gain the chairmanship of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and keep his subcommittee chairmanships.


1997 (January 9)

Richard C. Shelby became chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a position he held from 1997 to January 3, 2001, and again from January 20 to June 6, 2001.


1998 (July 21)

Senator Jefferson B. Sessions III of Mobile received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session. Senator Sessions received a second Golden Gavel Award on October 25, 2000, for presiding an additional 100 hours.


2002 (September )

The Senate unveiled Alabama-born artist Simmie Lee Knox's portrait of Mississippi senator Blanche Kelso Bruce. The portrait, completed in 2001, was unveiled in the Old Senate Chamber.


2003 (January 15)

Richard C. Shelby became chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, a position he held from 2003 to 2007.