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1804 (December 24)

The Senate passed "An act to divide the Indiana territory into two separate governments” (Act of January 11, 1805, ch. 5, 2 Stat. 309). The bill became law on January 11, 1805, with an effective date of June 30, 1805. It designated as the Michigan Territory all the land which “lies north of a line drawn east from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan, until it shall intersect Lake Erie, and east of a line drawn from said southerly bend through the middle of said lake to its northern extremity, and thence due north to the northern boundary of the United States."


1813 (October 29)

Lewis Cass became governor of the Michigan Territory, serving until 1831. Cass later represented Michigan in the Senate from 1849 to 1857.


1831 (August 1)

Future senator Lewis Cass became the secretary of war under President Andrew Jackson by recess appointment. The Senate confirmed his nomination on December 30, 1831.


1837 (January 26)

Michigan became the 26th state in the Union. Lucius Lyon of Bronson and John Norvell of Detroit presented their credentials and took their oaths of office, becoming Michigan’s first United States senators.


1837 (January 27)

Senators Lyon and Norvell drew lots to determine their class assignments. Senator Lyon drew Class 2, with a term to expire on March 3, 1839. Senator Norvell drew Class 3, with a term to expire on March 3, 1841.


1848 (November 7)

Senator Lewis Cass was the unsuccessful Democratic presidential nominee in the 1848 election. Cass had run in a three-way race against former senator Martin Van Buren and the eventual winner, General Zachary Taylor.


1854 (December 4)

Senator Lewis Cass became president pro tempore of the Senate. Cass served for only one day before being replaced by Senator Jesse D. Bright of Indiana.


1856 (June 9)

Senator Charles E. Stuart of Kalamazoo was elected president pro tempore of the Senate.


1857 (March 6)

Three days after Lewis Cass resigned his Senate seat, the Senate confirmed his nomination as secretary of state under President James Buchanan. He held that position until 1860.


1861 (July 6)

Senator Zachariah Chandler of Detroit became chairman of the Committee on Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until 1875.


1872

Artist Seth Eastman completed an oil painting of Fort Mackinac, Michigan, part of a series of fort paintings commissioned by House Military Affairs Committee chairman John A. Logan of Illinois. The paintings were originally hung in the House Military Affairs Committee Room, first in the Capitol and later in the Cannon House Office Building. During the late 1930s, they were returned to the Capitol for public display.


1874 (December 9)

Senator Thomas Ferry of Mackinac Island became chairman of the Committee on Rules (today's Committee on Rules and Administration), serving until 1877.


1875 (March 9)

Senator Thomas Ferry became president pro tempore of the Senate, a position that he held until 1879.


1875 (December 9)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of former senator Zachariah Chandler as secretary of the interior under President Ulysses S. Grant. Chandler had begun serving as secretary on October 18 as a recess appointment.


1887 (December 12)

Senator Thomas W. Palmer of Detroit became chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (today's Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry), serving until 1889.


1889 (February 18)

A marble statue of former senator Lewis Cass was formally received by Congress as Michigan's first contribution to the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection.


1889 (March 12)

The Senate confirmed in executive session President Benjamin Harrison's nomination of former senator Thomas W. Palmer as minister to Spain.


1890 (December 29)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Henry B. Brown of Detroit as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Brown served on the nation’s highest court until 1906.


1897 (March 5)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of former Michigan governor and future Michigan senator Russell A. Alger of Detroit as secretary of war under President William McKinley. Alger held that position until 1899. He was appointed and then elected to the Senate in 1902 and served until his death on January 24, 1907.


1908 (December 9)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of future Michigan senator Truman Handy Newberry of Detroit as secretary of the navy under President Theodore Roosevelt. Newberry held that position until 1909.


1912 (April 18)

Three days after the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage, the Senate began its inquiry into the disaster. The subcommittee hearings of the Committee on Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation) were chaired by Michigan senator William Alden Smith.


1913 (June 30)

A marble statue of former senator Zachariah Chandler became Michigan's second contribution to the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection.


1916 (November 7)

Senator Charles E. Townsend of Concord won reelection and became Michigan's first directly elected senator after ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.


1922 (January 12)

The Senate condemned Senator Truman Newberry for his excessive campaign expenditures in his election campaign against Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company. The election was contested and the Senate called the exorbitant funds spent on the election "harmful to the honor and dignity of the Senate." As a result of the ensuing conflict, Newberry resigned from the Senate later that year.


1926 (December 14)

Senator James Couzens of Detroit became chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor (today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions), serving until 1929. He then became chairman of the Committee on Interstate Commerce, (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until 1933.


1930 (February 22)

Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg of Grand Rapids read George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate Chamber, a tradition dating to 1862.


1940 (January 16)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Attorney General Frank Murphy, a Michigan native, as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Murphy served on the nation's highest court until 1949. The Senate had confirmed his nomination as U.S. attorney general on January 17, 1939.


1944 (February 24)

Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg was elected the Republican Conference vice chairman. He assumed the chairman position the next day when chairman and floor leader Charles L. McNary of Oregon died. Vandenberg served in this leadership position through 1946.


1945 (January 10)

Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg delivered a rousing and impassioned speech in which he abandoned his typically staunch isolationist point of view and called for global "collective security" as an alternative approach to solidifying global peace following the conclusion of World War II.


1947 (January 4)

Arthur H. Vandenberg became president pro tempore of the Senate, a position he held until 1949.


1947 (January 6)

Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg became chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, serving until 1949.


1949 (July 28)

The Senate settled the contested election between Representative Frank E. Hook and incumbent senator Homer S. Ferguson of Detroit. Charges of election fraud were investigated and the winner of the election, Senator Ferguson, retained his seat in the Senate.


1953 (August 4)

Senate Republicans elected Homer S. Ferguson as their Policy Committee chairman, a position he held through 1954.


1955 (March 11)

Former senator Homer S. Ferguson was nominated and later confirmed to be the United States ambassador to the Philippines. Ferguson served in that position until 1956.


1963 (February 25)

Senator Patrick V. McNamara of Detroit became chairman of the Committee on Public Works (today's Committee on the Environment and Public Works), serving until 1966.


1969 (September 7)

Senate Republicans elected Robert P. Griffin of Detroit as their  whip, a position he held until 1977.


1973 (December 6)

Michigan congressman and House minority leader Gerald Ford was sworn into office and began presiding over the Senate as the 40th vice president of the United States following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. Ford had been nominated as vice president by President Richard Nixon under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The House and the Senate, both of which were Democratically controlled, confirmed the nomination. 


1976 (August 30)

The Senate voted to name the third Senate office building, which was then under construction, the "Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building" as a tribute to the terminally ill Philip A. Hart of Bryn Mawr. Senator Hart, known as "the Conscience of the Senate," was elected to the Senate in 1959 and served until his death on December 26, 1976.


1979 (January 3)

Carl Levin of Detroit began his senate service. Senator Levin became Michigan's longest-serving senator in January 2002, when he surpassed Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg's previous mark of 23 years and 16 days.


1985 (December 4)

A marble bust of former vice president Gerald Ford was dedicated in a ceremony at the Capitol and added to the Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection. The bust is on display on the second floor, east corridor of the Senate wing of the Capitol.


1989 (February 2)

Donald W. Riegle, Jr., became chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, a position he held until 1994.


1996 (January 23)

Spencer Abraham of East Lansing received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.


2001 (June 6)

Senator Carl Levin became chairman of the Committee on Armed Services after Senator James Jeffords of Vermont changed parties and agreed to caucus with the Democrats. Levin chaired the committee until 2003, and again beginning in 2007.


2001 (January 20)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of former senator Spencer Abraham as secretary of energy under President George W. Bush.


2002

Debbie A. Stabenow of Galdwin, who became Michigan's first woman senator in 2001, received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.


2004 (September 14)

A portrait of Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg was unveiled and hung in the Senate Reception Room, taking its place among the other then-six (now 9) members of "The Famous Nine."


2004 (November 16)

Debbie A. Stabenow was elected the Democratic Conference secretary, serving until 2007.


2011 (February 3)

Debbie A. Stabenow became the first woman to chair the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.


2011 (May 3)

A bronze statue of former House minority leader, vice president, and president Gerald R. Ford by artist J. Brett Grill was unveiled in the Capitol as Michigan's third contribution to the National Statuary Hall Collection. Ford's statue replaced that of former mayor and U.S. senator Zachariah Chandler.