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1803

Senate credentials of Thomas Worthington

February 19

Congress passed an act "to provide for the execution of the laws of the United States within the State of Ohio," effectively admitting Ohio to the Union as the 17th state. Congress later established the date of Ohio statehood as March 1, 1803. The Buckeye State's first senators, John Smith of Cincinnati and Thomas Worthington of Chillicothe were seated in October.

1803

Thomas Worthington (R-OH)

December 15

The senators drew lots to determine their class assignments. Senator Thomas Worthington drew Class 2, for the term to expire on March 3, 1807. Senator John Smith drew Class 3, for the term to expire on March 3, 1809.

1808

April 25

Senator John Smith resigned at the request of the Ohio legislature after being indicted with former vice president Aaron Burr on charges of conspiring to commit treason. In August 1807 the court acquitted Burr and the prosecutor dropped charges against Smith. By a margin of 19 to 10, the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds necessary to expel Smith.

1815

Image: "Ohio" Clock, U.S. Capitol

December 27

During the rebuilding of the U.S. Capitol to repair fire damage sustained during the 1814 British attack of Washington, the Senate ordered from master clockmaker Thomas Voigt the timepiece subsequently known as the “Ohio Clock.” The clock has occupied its current location outside the south entrance to the Senate Chamber since 1859. Extensive research has failed to uncover the reason for the clock’s association with Ohio. Some have speculated that the 17 stars on the cabinet’s carved mahogany shield represent the nation’s 17th state—Ohio.

1825

William Henry Harrison (A-OH)

March 4

William Henry Harrison of Cincinnati became a U.S. senator, serving until May 20, 1828. On March 4, 1841, he would become the ninth president of the United States, but would serve for just one month. He died of pneumonia on April 4, 1841.

1825

December 12

William Henry Harrison became chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs (today's Committee on Armed Services), serving until his resignation from the Senate in May of 1828.

1828

May 24

The Senate confirmed the nomination of William Henry Harrison to be Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Colombia.

1829

John McLean

March 7

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ohioan and former representative  John McLean as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1845

William Allen (D-OH)

December 9

William Allen of Chillicothe became chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He resigned from the committee on June 14, 1846, after he disagreed with the terms of the Oregon Treaty as passed by the Senate.

1847

Thoams Corwin (W-OH)

February 11

Senator Thomas Corwin of Lebanon, widely acclaimed as an orator, addressed his fellow senators recommending denial of President James K. Polk’s request for funds to conduct the Mexican War. Corwin’s remarks defending the right of free speech during wartime moved the entire nation.

1850

July 20

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Senator Thomas Corwin to become secretary of the treasury under President Millard Fillmore. Corwin resigned his Senate seat the same day.

1861

Salmon P. Chase

March 6

A day after his nomination and confirmation by the Senate, Salmon P. Chase resigned his Senate seat to become secretary of the treasury under President Abraham Lincoln. On December 6, 1864, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Chase as chief justice of the United States.

1862

Noah H. Swayne

January 24

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ohioan Noah H. Swayne as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1863

John Sherman (R-OH)

December 14

John Sherman of Mansfield became chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture (today's Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry). In the second session of that Congress (38th), beginning in December 1864, he became chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, where he served until 1865, playing a major role in decisions related to financing the Civil War. In the 39th Congress, from 1865 to 1867, he served as chairman of the Agriculture Committee once again, and returned to the Finance Committee in 1867, serving as chair until 1877.

1867

Benjamin Wade (W/O/R-OH)

March 4

The Senate elected Benjamin Wade of Jefferson as president pro tempore. His duties took on special significance because, with the office of vice president vacant, he stood next in line of presidential succession.

1868

Chief Justice Chase, as President of the Court of Impeachment, Administering the Oath to Senator Wade, in the Senate Chamber, Washington, D.C., on the 6th March.

March 30

From March 30 to May 26, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, a former Ohio senator, presided at the Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. With the office of vice president then vacant, the removal of Johnson would have made Senate President pro tempore  Benjamin Wade president of the United States. Criticized for taking an active role in seeking Johnson’s conviction to advance his own political career, Wade lost out when Johnson won acquittal by one vote.

1873

Battle of Lake Erie

 

Ohio artist William Henry Powell completed his oil on canvas mural, “The Battle of Lake Erie,” for the head of the east stairway of the Capitol’s Senate wing. Powell modeled the work after his 1865 painting on the same subject placed in the rotunda of the Ohio statehouse in Columbus.

1874

Morrison R. Waite

January 21

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ohioan Morrison R. Waite to be chief justice of the United States.

1877

John Sherman (R-OH)

March 8

Following Senate confirmation of his nomination, John Sherman resigned his Senate seat to become secretary of the treasury under President Rutherford B. Hayes. Sherman was elected to the Senate again in 1881.

1879

Allen Thurman (D-OH)

March 19

Allen Thurman of Columbus became chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, a position he held until 1881.

1879

PPT Seal

April 15

The Senate elected Allen Thurman as president pro tempore. He held the post until March 1881.

1880

James A. Garfield (R-OH)

January 13

The Ohio legislature elected Representative James A. Garfield of Mentor to a seat in the Senate with a term beginning on March 4, 1881. Garfield subsequently declined his Senate seat following his November 4, 1880, election as the 20th president of the United States.

1881

Stanley Matthews

May 12

The Senate confirmed the nomination of former senator Stanley Matthews of Cincinnati as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1883

George Pendleton (D-OH)

January 16

Congress passed the Civil Service Act, or Pendleton Act, sponsored by Senator George Pendleton of Cincinnati sponsored , which established a federal Civil Service Commission and substituted competitive civil service exams for the practice of hiring based on political patronage. The bill was enacted on January 16, 1883. The 1881 assassination of President James A. Garfield by a “disappointed office-seeker,” inspired this landmark legislation.

1885

Statue of James A. Garfield, National Statuary Hall Collection

July 9

Sculptor Charles Niehaus completed work on a marble statue of former president James A. Garfield as one of Ohio’s two entries in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue is permanently placed in the Capitol’s Rotunda along with that of another Buckeye statesman, former president Ulysses Grant.

1885

PPT Seal

December 7

The Senate elected John Sherman as president pro tempore. His duties increased following the November 25, 1885, death of Vice President Thomas Hendricks. Sherman held this post until February 26, 1887.

1886

Hon. John Sherman, President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate.

April 5

John Sherman became chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a position he held until 1893.

1886

Henry B. Payne (D-OH)

July 23

The Senate resolved the contested 1884 election in Ohio of Henry B. Payne of Cleveland. Payne was seated.

1887

Statue of William Allen, National Statuary Hall Collection

June 24

Sculptor Charles Niehaus completed work on a marble statue of former senator William Allen of Chillicothe as the second of Ohio’s two entries in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection.

1888

Campaign sign for Allen Thurman and Grover Cleveland

November 6

Former senator Allen Thurman lost his bid for vice president of the United States, on the ticket with incumbent president Grover Cleveland. They were defeated by Republicans Benjamin Harrison and Levi Morton.

1890

Sherman Antitrust Act

July 

Senator John Sherman, preeminent leader of the Republican Party on economic issues, lent his name to two important laws, the Sherman Antitrust Act (July 2) and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act (July 14). The former sought to prevent business monopolies while the latter established a limited silver-purchase plan by the Treasury Department.

1897

John Sherman

March 4

Senator John Sherman resigned from the Senate to become secretary of state under President William McKinley. Sherman's nomination was confirmed by the Senate the next day. At the end of his Senate service, Sherman had served 31 years and 11 months, making him the longest-serving Ohio senator, and the longest serving senator in history until 1905, when he was surpassed by William B. Allison of Iowa.

1899

Marcus A. Hanna (R-OH)

February 28

The Senate resolved the 1897 contested election in Ohio of Marcus A. Hanna of Cleveland. Hanna was seated.

1900

Joseph B. Foraker (R-OH)

February 22

Senator Joseph B. Foraker of Cincinnati delivered George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.

1900

Statue of Ulysses Grant, Capitol Rotunda

May 20

Sculptor Franklin Simmons’s marble statue of former president Ulysses Grant was unveiled in the Capitol’s Rotunda, joining that of another Buckeye statesman, former president James A. Garfield.

1903

William R. Day

February 23

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ohioan William R. Day as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1906

Theodore Burton (R-OH)

December 

Representative Theodore Burton of Cleveland published a two-volume biography of Senator John Sherman. Soon thereafter, Burton took the U.S. Senate seat once held by Sherman.

1909

March 4

Theodore Burton began his first Senate term while also serving as chairman of the National Waterways Commission and the National Monetary Commission. He continued in these posts throughout most of that term until 1912, despite concerns expressed about members of Congress serving in agencies whose appropriations they funded.

1914

Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

November 3

Warren Gamaliel Harding of Marion became Ohio's first directly elected senator, following the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.

1916

John H. Clarke

July 24

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ohioan John H. Clarke as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1920

Atlee Pomerene (D-OH)

February 23

Senator Atlee Pomerene of Canton delivered George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.

1920

Warren G. Harding (R-OH)

November 2

Warren G. Harding became the first sitting senator to be elected president of the United States. He defeated another Ohio resident, Democratic Party candidate James M. Cox of Dayton. Cox had represented Ohio in the House of Representatives and had served as Ohio's govenor.

1921

William Howard Taft

June 30

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ohioan and former U.S. president William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States.

1924

Frank B. Willis (R-OH)

February 22

Senator Frank B. Willis of Delaware County delivered George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.

1929

Simeon Fess (R-OH)

March 5

Republican senator Simeon Fess was appointed Republican whip by Conference chairman and floor leader James Watson. Fess served as whip until 1933.

1929

Theodore Burton

October 30

A funeral service for Senator Theodore Burton was held in the Senate Chamber. Burton, who was serving his second term in the Senate, died on October 28, 1929.

1939

Cover of the Farewell Address Notebook

February 22

Senator Robert A. Taft of Cincinnati delivered George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.

1944

Harold Burton (R-OH)

February 24

Senate Republicans elected Harold Burton of Cleveland as their Conference secretary, a position he held through the end of that year.

1944

John W. Bricker (R-OH)

June 28

Governor and future senator John W. Bricker of Columbus was nominated for vice president of the United States on the ticket with Thomas Dewey. They lost to Franklin Roosevelt and Missouri senator Harry Truman.

1945

Harold H. Burton

September 18

Democratic president Harry Truman nominated Republican senator Harold Burton as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Burton's former Senate colleagues onfirmed Burton’s nomination the same day. He was the last sitting senator to be named to the high court in the 20th century.

1946

Robert A. Taft

December 31

Senate Republicans elected Robert A. Taft as the first chairman of the newly created Senate Republican Policy Committee. He also became chair of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (precursor to today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions).

1947

January 6

Robert A. Taft became chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions). He chaired the committee until January 10, 1949.

1947

June 23

Senator Robert A. Taft, known as “Mr. Republican,” sponsored the Taft Hartley Act in the Senate, achieving passage of the legislation over President Harry Truman's veto. The law set a number of controls on the activities of labor unions.

1953

Robert A. Taft

January 3

Robert A. Taft became Senate majority leader. He died later that year on July 31.

1953

July 29

John W. Bricker became chairman of the Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until January 11, 1955.

1953

August 1

The Senate voted to approve legislation retroactively ratifying Ohio's state constitution, a step Congress had failed to take in 1803, and admitting Ohio to the Union as of March 1, 1803, rather than the previously accepted February 19th date.

1954

February 26

The Senate defeated a constitutional amendment introduced by Senator John W. Bricker that would have weakened presidential authority in foreign affairs and limited the federal government's ability to enter into treaties. Requiring a two-thirds vote for adoption, the amendment failed by a single vote, 61-30.

1959

Robert A. Taft by Deane Keller

March 12

A special Senate committee, chaired by Senator John F. Kennedy, unveiled a porthole portrait of Robert A. Taft as one of the five most significant senators in history, to be displayed in the Senate Reception Room.

1959

Taft Carillon

April 14

President Dwight Eisenhower joined congressional leaders and 5,000 onlookers to dedicate the Taft Memorial Bell Tower in honor of former Senate Majority Leader Robert A. Taft. The carillon includes 27 matched bronze bells. A 10-foot bronze statue of Taft stands at the tower’s base.

1959

Potter Stewart

May 5

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Ohioan Potter Stewart as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1962

John Glenn

February 20

Future senator John Glenn lifted off into space aboard his Mercury Atlas (MA-6) rocket and became the first American to orbit the Earth. After orbiting the Earth 3 times, Friendship 7 landed in the Atlantic Ocean 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds later.

1973

William Saxbe (R-OH)

December 17

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Senator William Saxbe of Mechanicsburg as attorney general of the United States under President Richard Nixon. Saxbe resigned his Senate seat on January 3, 1974, and continued serving as attorney general under the administration of Gerald R. Ford. In 1975 President Ford nominated and the Senate confirmed Saxbe as U.S. ambassador to India.

1987

John H. Glenn Jr.

January 6

John H. Glenn Jr. of Columbus became chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (today's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs). He held that post until January 1995.

1998

John H. Glenn Jr.

October 29

Senator John Glenn orbited the earth on Space Shuttle Discovery. He returned November 7, completing a journey of 3.6 million miles at a maximum speed of 17,950 mph, with a maximum altitude 355 miles. As a representation of his Senate service, he took on his voyage a copy of Thomas Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice, which he presented to Senate Democratic Leader Thomas Daschle on December 30, 1998.

1999

January 3

With 24 years of Senate service, John Glenn became Ohio’s second longest-serving senator (after John Sherman) at the time of his retirement.

1999

George V. Voinovich (R-OH)

February 22

Senator George V. Voinovich of Cleveland delivered George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.

1999

Golden Gavel

November 10

George V. Voinovich received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.

2003

January 15

George V. Voinovich became chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, a position he held until 2007.

2007

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

September 20

Senator Sherrod Brown of Lorain received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.

2012

Presidential Medal of Freedom

May 29

Former senator John Glenn received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given by the president of the United States to honor individuals who have made great contributions to either the United States or the world. To date, 24 senators have received the award.