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1836

The Alamo, San Antonio, TX

March 2

Months after the Texas Revolution had begun, Texas officially declared its independence from Mexico. Four days later a group of Texas settlers were defeated by Mexican troops at the Battle of the Alamo, near modern-day San Antonio.

1836

Illustration depicting the surrender of Mexican commander Santa Anna and his brother-in-law General Martin Perfecto de Cos, to American leader Samuel Houston after the Battle of San Jacinto

April 21

The Texas army, led by future senator Sam Houston, decisively defeated the Mexican army, led by their president, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, at the Battle of San Jacinto, near modern-day Houston. Weeks later a peace agreement was signed allowing for the creation of the Republic of Texas.

1836

Samuel Houston (D-TX)

October 22

Former congressman and Tennessee governor Samuel Houston became the first president of the Republic of Texas. Houston, originally from Rockbridge County, Virginia, served in that position until 1838 and again from 1841 to 1844. He later represented Texas in the United States Senate.

1844

Petition against the annexation of Texas

June 8

By a vote of 16 to 35, the Senate rejected a treaty to annex the Republic of Texas and assume its debts.

1845

February 27

The Senate voted 27 to 25 in favor of a joint resolution consenting to the annexation of the Republic of Texas. The resolution also provided the conditions for the admission of the State of Texas into the Union.

1845

December 29

Texas became the 28th state in the Union.

1846

Thomas J. Rusk (D-TX)

February 21

Thomas J. Rusk of Nacogdoches and Samuel Houston of Raven Hill were elected as the first United States senators from the State of Texas. 

1846

Samuel Houston (D-TX)

March 26

Thomas Rusk presented his credentials and took his oath of office on the Senate floor. Houston did the same on March 30, following which the senators drew lots to determine their class assignments. Senator Houston drew Class 1, with a term to expire March 3, 1847. Senator Rusk drew Class 3, with a term to expire March 3, 1851.

1846

H.R. 145 Declaration of War with Mexico, 1846

May 12

The Senate voted 40 to 2 in favor of a bill (H.R. 145) officially declaring a state of war with Mexico. The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848) was fought primarily over the annexation of Texas.

1857

PPT Seal

March 14

The Senate elected Thomas J. Rusk as president pro tempore. He held the post until July 29, 1857.

1861

February 23

Texas, after a voter referendum, seceded from the Union.

1861

Louis T. Wigfall (D-TX)

July 11

Senators John Hemphill and Louis T. Wigfall were expelled from the Senate, along with eight other senators, for disloyalty to the Union. Hemphill went on to represent Texas in the Confederate Congress as did Wigfall, who also served in the Confederate army. Texas's two Senate seats remained vacant until 1870.

1870

Morgan C. Hamilton (R-TX)

March 31

After Texas was allowed to resume representation in the U.S. Congress, Morgan C. Hamilton of Austin and James W. Flanagan of Flanagans Mills were administered the oath of office and took their seats. Due to the Civil War, they were the first senators from Texas since 1861.

1873

James W. Flanagan (R-TX)

December 4

James W. Flanagan became chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor (today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions), a position he held until 1875.

1879

Richard Coke (D-TX)

March 19

Richard Coke of Waco became chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, a position he held until 1881.

1905

Statue of Stephen F. Austin, National Statuary Hall Collection

February 25

Marble statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston were added to the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection. Austin, originally from Austinville, Virginia, is known as the founder of the State of Texas. Sam Houston was a soldier-statesman who fought in the War of 1812, served as a congressman, governor of Tennessee, president of the Republic of Texas, senator, and governor of the State of Texas.

1907

Charles A. Culberson (D-TX)

 

Charles A. Culberson of Dallas was elected Democratic Conference chairman, serving until 1909.

1913

Charles A. Culberson (D-TX)

March 15

Charles A. Culberson became chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, a position he held until 1919.

1916

Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

November 7

Charles A. Culberson won reelection and became Texas's first directly elected senator after the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.

1925

Earle B. Mayfield (D-TX)

February 3

The Senate voted to settle the contested 1922 election between George E. B. Peddy and Earle B. Mayfield of Austin. After a year-long investigation, a recount of disputed ballots, and a Senate review of state primary election regulations, the Senate voted for Mayfield to retain his seat.

1929

Morris Sheppard (D-TX)

March 6

Morris Sheppard of Texarkana was elected the Senate Democratic whip, a position he held until 1933.

1933

John Nance Garner (D-TX)

March 4

John Nance Garner of Detroit, Texas, was sworn in and began presiding over the Senate as the 32nd vice president of the United States.

1933

Senate Military Affairs Committee, January 27, 1939

March 9

Morris Sheppard became chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs (todays' Committee on Armed Services), a position he held until 1941.

1933

Chesley W. Jurney

March 9

Texan Chesley W. Jurney became the Senate sergeant at arms, a position he held until January 31, 1943, when he withdrew his name from consideration after becoming embroiled in a conflict between the Senate's majority leader and a filibustering senator.

1938

John Nance Garner by Howard Chandler Christy

 

Congress approved the purchase of a portrait of Vice President John Nance Garner by artist Howard Chandler Christy.

1941

Morris Sheppard (D-TX)

April 9

Morris Sheppard, Texas's longest-serving senator, died while still in office. Senator Sheppard first took his oath of office on February 3, 1913, and served continuously for over 28 years.

1941

Andrew Jackson Houston (D-TX)

June 2

Andrew Jackson Houston took the oath of office and made history, at the age of 86, as the oldest freshman senator ever. Senator Houston was the son of one of Texas's first senators, Samuel Houston. He had been appointed by Texas governor W. Lee (Pappy) O'Daniel on April 21, 1941, to the fill the vacancy caused by the death of Morris Sheppard. O'Daniel went on to win the special election to fill the vacancy, and began serving on August 4, 1941.

1941

Thomas T. Connally (

July 31

Thomas T. Connally of Marlin became chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a position he held until 1947, and again from 1949 to 1953.

1943

John Nance Garner

April 16

A marble bust of former vice president John Nance Garner by sculptor James Earle Fraser was dedicated in the Senate wing of the Capitol and added to the Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection.

1949

Tom C. Clark

August 18

The Senate confirmed the nomination of former attorney general Tom C. Clark of Dallas as an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

1951

LBJLeader

January 2

Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Johnson City was elected Democratic whip, a leadership position he held until advancing to party leader in 1953.

1953

January 2

Senator Lyndon B. Johnson was elected Democratic leader, Conference chairman, and Policy Committee chairman. Two years later, Johnson became majority leader, a position he held until his resignation in 1961.

1958

August 24

Lyndon B. Johnson became chairman of the newly created Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), a position he held until 1961.

1961

Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX)

January 20

Lyndon B. Johnson, who had resigned from the Senate on January 3, was sworn in and began presiding over the Senate as the 37th vice president of the United States.

1964

Samuel Houston stamp

January 10

Former senator Samuel Houston was featured on a five-cent U.S. postage stamp. Houston had previously been depicted on a three-cent stamp in 1936 to commemorate the centennial of Texas independence.

1964

Photograph of Strom Thurmond and Ralph Yarborough

July 9

Senator Ralph W. Yarborough of Austin got into a wrestling match with Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina outside a Senate committee room. Senator Thurmond had been attempting to block access to the room to prevent a vote. The two 61 year old men grappled on the floor before the committee chairman, Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington, separated them.

1966

Lyndon B. Johnson

 

A marble bust of former vice president Lyndon B. Johnson by sculptor JIMILU mason (granddaughter of Illinois senator William E. Mason) was completed. The formal addition of the bust to the Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection was delayed by protocol, as former vice president Richard M. Nixon's  bust had yet to be unveiled. In 1969 a copy of the bust went on display at the National Portrait Gallery in place of Johnson's official portrait, which he had deemed "the ugliest thing I ever saw."

1969

Ralph W. Yarborough (D-TX)

January 14

Senator Ralph W. Yarborough became chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions), a position he held until 1971.

1972

Cover of the Farewell Address Notebook

February 21

Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. of Austin read George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address in the Senate Chamber, a tradition dating to 1862.

1973

John G. Tower (R-TX)

January 3

John G. Tower of Wichita Falls became the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, a position he held until 1985.

1973

Lyndon B. Johnson stamp

August 27

Former senator, vice president, and president Lyndon B. Johnson was featured on an eight-cent U.S. postage stamp. Based on a portrait of Johnson by artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, the stamp was unveiled on what would have been Johnson's 65th birthday. Johnson was featured again on a twenty-two-cent stamp in 1986.

1980

Presidential Medal of Freedom

June 9

Former senator and vice president Lyndon B. Johnson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter. The medal is one of the country's highest civilian awards and is bestowed upon individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

1981

January 5

John G. Tower became chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, a position he held until 1985.

1981

George H. W. Bush (R-TX)

January 20

Texan George H. W. Bush was sworn into office and began presiding over the Senate as the 43rd vice president of the United States.

1987

Lloyd M. Bentsen (D-TX)

January 6

Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. became chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, a position he held until 1993.

1988

November 8

Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. ran unsuccessfully for vice president on the Democratic ticket with presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, the Massachusetts governor. They lost the election to the incumbent vice president, George H. W. Bush and his running mate, Indiana senator Dan Quayle.

1990

George H.W. Bush

June 27

A marble bust of former vice president George H. W. Bush by sculptor Walker Kirtland Hancock was dedicated in the Senate wing of the Capitol and added to the Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection.

1990

Phil Gramm (R-TX)

November 13

Senator Phil Gramm of College Station was elected chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, a position he held until 1995.

1993

Portrait of Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. (D-TX)

January 20

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. as secretary of the treasury under President Bill Clinton. Bentsen resigned his Senate seat that same day and served as treasury secretary until 1994.

1999

January 7

Phil Gramm became chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, a position he held until 2001.

1999

Presidential Medal of Freedom

August 11

Former senator Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. The medal is one of the country's highest civilian awards and is bestowed upon individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

2000

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

December 5

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Galveston, who became Texas's first woman senator in 1993, was elected Republican Conference vice chair (formerly the Republican Conference secretary), and became the first woman to hold a leadership position among Senate Republicans. She served as conference vice chair until 2007, when she became chair of the Republican Policy Committee, a position she held until 2009..

2004

Golden Gavel

February 6

John Cornyn of Houston received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session.

2006

John Cornyn (R-TX)

November 15

Senator John Cornyn was elected Republican Conference vice chair, a position he held until 2009, when he became chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. In December 2012, he was elected Republican whip for the 113th Congress.