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1787 (September 17)

At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Georgians and future senators Abraham Baldwin and William Few signed the new U.S. Constitution.


1788 (January 2)

Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.


1789 (March 4)

The Senate convened for the first time at Federal Hall in New York City. William Few, Georgia’s first U.S. senator, appeared and took his seat, but because only eight senators were present, there were not enough to constitute a quorum. The body was forced to adjourn each day until April 6, when it achieved its first quorum of 12 members, out of the eligible 22.


1789 (April 20)

James Gunn, Georgia’s second senator, appeared at Federal Hall in New York City and took his seat.


1789 (May 15)

The Senate drew lots to determine the three classes of senators. William Few was assigned the Class 2 seat, with a four-year term to expire in 1793. James Gunn was assigned the Class 3 seat, with a six-year term to expire in 1795.


1789 (August 5)

The Senate rejected President George Washington's nomination of Benjamin Fishbourn to the post of naval officer for the port of Savannah after Senators William Few and James Gunn opposed the nomination. This marked the first instance of what came to be known as “senatorial courtesy,” in which the Senate rejects a nominee whom the home state senators oppose.


1801 (December 7)

Abraham Baldwin of Augusta was elected Senate president pro tempore. He was elected president pro tem again on April 17, 1802.


1809 (January 30)

John Milledge of Augusta was elected Senate president pro tempore.


1812 (March 24)

William H. Crawford of Lexington was elected Senate president pro tempore.


1813 (March 23)

Following his recess appointment in April as U.S. minister to France by President James Madison, William H. Crawford resigned his Senate seat. Crawford's nomination was confirmed by the Senate on May 28, 1813, and he served until 1815.


1817 (December 11)

Senator George M. Troup of Dublin became chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs (today's Committee on Armed Services), serving until 1818.


1819 (February 17)

Following Senate confirmation on February 15, Senator John Forsyth of Augusta resigned his Senate seat to become U.S. minister to Spain, serving until 1823.


1828 (December 9)

Senator John M. Berrien of Savannah became chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, serving until 1829, and again from 1841 to 1845 during his second tenure in the Senate.


1829 (March 9)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Senator John M. Berrien as attorney general of the United States. Berrien resigned his Senate seat that same day and served as attorney general until 1845.


1831 (December 6)

In the Senate once again, John Forsyth became chairman of the Committee on Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until 1832. He then became chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, where he served until 1833.


1832 (December 10)

Senator George M. Troup, who had returned to the Senate in 1829, became chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, serving until 1833.


1835 (January 9)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of James Moore Wayne of Georgia as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.


1846 (March 16)

The Senate rejected allegations of disloyalty brought by a newspaper against Walter T. Colquitt of Columbus and two other senators, John M. Clayton of Delaware and Spencer Jarnagin of Tennessee. They were accused of plotting with the British minister to force a compromise settlement of the Oregon territory dispute with Great Britain.


1860 (June 23)

Former senator Herschel Johnson of Milledgeville was nominated for vice president of the United States on the Democratic ticket headed by Illinois senator Stephen Douglas. They lost to the Republican candidates, Abraham Lincoln and Senator Hannibal Hamlin.


1861 (January 19)

Georgia passed an ordinance of secession from the Union.


1861 (January 28)

Senator Alfred Iverson of Columbus withdrew from the Senate.


1861 (February 4)

Senator Robert Toombs of Washington withdrew from the Senate.


1861 (March 14)

The Senate expelled Robert Toombs, who had already departed after Georgia’s secession on January 19, 1861. No action was taken in regard to Alfred Iverson, whose term had already expired. Their Senate seats remained vacant until 1871.


1868 (June 25)

Congress passed an act to admit the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida to representation in Congress. The statute, which conditioned representation with in Congress with ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, was enacted over Preisdent Andrew Johnson's veto. In 1869 a second statute required Georgia's ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, and on July 15, 1870, the state was admitted to representation in Congress.


1871 (February 1)

Joshua Hill of Madison took his oath and Seat in the Senate. Several weeks later, on February 24, 1871, Homer V. M. Miller of Rome took his oath and seat. First elected by the state legislature in July 1868, the seating of the new senators from Georgia brought to an end a long adn divisive fight over the admission of the state to representation in the Senate. Miller's term, however, expired after just eight days. Hill was not a candidate for reelection and served until March 3, 1873.


1871 (December 19)

Thomas M. Norwood of Savannah took his seat for the Senate term beginning on March 4, 1871. Foster Blodgett, a former Confederate officer, had presented his credentials in January as a newly elected senator from Georgia, but members of the state legislature protested his claim and the matter was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections. Ultimately, the Senate voted to seat NOrwood, but agreed to pay Blodgett the per diem and mileage of a senator for the nine months his case was being considered.


1879 (March 19)

Senator John Gordon of Atlanta became chairman of the Committee on Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until 1880.


1880 (December 21)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of William Burnham Woods of Georgia as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.


1883 (March 4)

Alfred Colquitt of Atlanta became the first son of a Georgia senator to also become a senator. His father, Walter Colquitt, served from 1843 to 1848. Alfred served in the Senate until his death in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 1894.


1902 (February 22)

Augustus Bacon of Macon delivered George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.


1910 (December 15)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Joseph Rucker Lamar of Georgia as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.


1911 (August 12)

Deadlocked over the election of a new president pro tempore, the Senate devised a system in which Democrat Augustus Bacon of Macon would alternate presiding in the post with four Republican senators. In 1913, after Democrats won a majority in the Senate, Bacon became the sole president pro tempore.


1913 (March 15)

Senator Augustus Bacon became chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, serving until his death on February 14, 1914.


1913 (March 15)

Senator Hoke Smith of Atlanta became chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor (precursor to today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions), serving until 1919.


1914 (February 17)

Funeral services for Senator Augustus Bacon were held in the Senate Chamber.


1914 (November 3)

Thomas Hardwick of Sandersville became the first directly elected senator from Georgia after the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1913.


1922 (October 3)

Rebecca Felton of Cartersville became the first woman senator following her appointment by the governor to fill a vacancy. At 87 she was the oldest person appointed to the Senate, and although the Senate was in session only one day during her term, she delivered a speech in the Senate predicting that many women would follow her in office.


1922 (November 22)

Walter F. George of Vienna began service in the Senate and served until January 2, 1957. His tenure, the second-longest of Georgia's senators, lasted 34 years, one month and three days.


1926 (March 30)

A statue of Dr. Crawford Long, the first surgeon to use ether as an anesthetic, sculpted by J. Massey Rhind, was unveiled at the Capitol as Georgia’s first contribution to the National Statuary Hall Collection.


1927 (February 22)

Walter F. George delivered George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.


1927 (December 8)

Georgia’s second contribution to the National Statuary Hall Collection, a statue of Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy, sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, was installed in the Capitol.


1932 (April 20)

Funeral services for Senator William J. Harris of Cedartown were held in the Senate Chamber.


1933 (January 12)

Richard B. Russell of Winder took his seat as the junior senator from Georgia. Russell served until January 21, 1971, a tenure of 38 years and 19 days—Georgia’s longest serving senator to date. When he took office, he began serving alongside Walter F. George and the two men worked together for almost 24 years, until George’s retirement on January 3, 1957.


1939 (January 10)

Senator Walter George became chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, serving until 1941, when he became chairman of the Committee on Finance. George served as Finance Committee chair until 1947, and again from 1949 to 1953, and then returned to Foreign Relations as committee chair from 1955 to 1957.


1943 (July 25)

Richard Russell led a special Senate committee to investigate the effectiveness of war material under combat conditions around the world. Committee members traveled to England, North Africa, the Persian Gulf, India, China, and Australia, before returning to Washington on September 18.


1951 (January 15)

Senator Richard Russell became chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, serving until 1953, and again from 1955 to 1969. In May 1851, he co-chaired hearings investigating President Harry S. Truman’s firing of General Douglas MacArthur.


1952 (February 28)

Senator Richard Russell announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination but lost the nomination to Adlai Stevenson II.


1955 (January 5)

Walter George was elected president pro tempore of the Senate.


1964 (March 26)

The longest filibuster in Senate history began. As head of the Southern caucus, Senator Richard Russell led the opposition to the the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The filibuster ended on June 10, after 60 days of debate, when the Senate voted 71 to 29 for cloture.


1969 (January 3)

Richard Russell was elected president pro tempore of the Senate and held that position until his death on January 21, 1971.


1969 (January 14)

Senator Richard Russell became chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, serving until 1971.


1971 (January 28)

Senator Herman Talmadge became chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. In 1977 its name changed to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, which Talmadge continued to chair until 1981.


1972 (October 11)

The Old Senate Office Building was named in memory of Senator Richard Russell.


1973 (February 8)

Senator Herman Talmadge began service on the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate burglary, which played a large role in the events which led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.


1980 (November 4)

Mack Mattingly of St. Simons Island was elected as Georgia’s first Republican senator since Reconstruction. He defeated incumbent senator Herman Talmadge, who less than one month earlier, on October 11, had been denounced by his colleagues (in a 81 to 15 vote) for financial misconduct.


1982 (October 1)

Senator Mack Mattingly received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.


1987 (January 6)

Senator Sam Nunn of Perry became chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, serving until 1995.


1991 (October 15)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Clarence Thomas of Georgia as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.


1996 (January 24)

A marble statue of the late senator Richard Russell, sculpted by Frederick Hart, was installed in the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda.


1997 (January 3)

Max Cleland of Lithonia, a triple amputee wounded in Vietnam, took the oath as senator.


2003 (February 24)

Saxby Chambliss of Moultrie delivered George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.


2005 (January 3)

Johnny Isakson of Marietta became senator after serving in the House of Representatives from 1999-2004. When Isakson began serving alongside his colleague, Saxby Chambliss, for the first time both Georgia seats in the Senate were held by Republicans.


2005 (January 6)

Senator Saxby Chambliss became chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, serving until 2007.


2011 (February 28)

Johnny Isakson delivered George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.