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Washington's Farewell Address Notebook


Cover of the Farewell Address Notebook

One of the Senate's most enduring traditions is the annual reading of President George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address by a current member of the United States Senate. This tradition began in 1862, but did not become an annual event until 1893. Since 1900, the reading of the address has been followed by the Senator inscribing his or her name along with brief remarks in a leather-bound book maintained by the Secretary of the Senate. Early entries in the notebook were typically brief explanations of the practice, accompanied by signature and date. Often, several entries appeared on a single page. In more recent years, entries have grown more elaborate and have included personal stories or comments on contemporary politics and policy. A selection of inscriptions follows (presented in pdf format).

Read Washington's Farewell Address

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Joseph B. Foraker, February 22, 1900

Augustus O. Bacon, February 22, 1901

Julius C. Burrows, February 22, 1902

Fred T. Dubois, February 23, 1903

Weldon B. Heyburn, February 22, 1904

George C. Perkins, February 22, 1905

James B. McCreary, February 22, 1906

Elmer J. Burkett, February 22, 1907

Porter J. McCumber, February 22, 1908

Anselm J. McLaurin, February 22, 1909

Chauncey M. Depew, February 22, 1910

Lafayette Young, February 22, 1911

John W. Kern, February 22, 1912

Frank B. Brandegee, February 22, 1913

Claude A. Swanson, February 23, 1914

Elihu Root, February 22, 1915

Charles F. Johnson, February 22, 1916

John D. Works, February 22, 1917

Peter G. Gerry, February 22, 1918

Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, February 22, 1919

Atlee Pomerene, February 23, 1920

James W. Wadsworth, Jr., February 22, 1921

Miles Poindexter, February 22, 1922

Carter Glass, February 22, 1923

Frank B. Willis, February 22, 1924

Henry F. Ashurst, February 23, 1925

Hiram Bingham, February 22, 1926

Walter F. George, February 22, 1927

Henrik Shipstead, February 22, 1928

James Reed, February 22, 1929

Arthur H. Vandenberg, February 22, 1930

Sam G. Bratton, February 22, 1931

Thomas J. Walsh, February 23, 1932

Otis F. Glenn, February 22, 1933

Joseph C. O'Mahoney, February 22, 1934

Warren R. Austin, February 22, 1935

Nathan L. Bachman, February 22, 1936

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., February 22, 1937

Allen J. Ellender, February 22, 1938

Robert Taft, February 22, 1939

Edward R. Burke, February 22, 1940

Wallace H. White, Jr., February 22, 1941

Theodore F. Green, February 23, 1942

Eugene D. Millikin, February 22, 1943

Elbert D. Thomas, February 22, 1944

H. Alexander Smith, February 22, 1945

Dennis Chavez, February 22, 1946

W. Chapman Revercomb, February 21, 1947

Brien McMahon, February 22, 1948

Margaret Chase Smith, February 22, 1949

Herbert R. O'Conor, February 22, 1950

Ralph E. Flanders, February 22, 1951

John O. Pastore, February 22, 1952

John Sherman Cooper, February 23, 1953

Lester C. Hunt, February 22, 1954

Prescott Bush, February 22, 1955

Hubert H. Humphrey, February 22, 1956

Barry Goldwater, February 22, 1957

Frank Church, February 21, 1958

Gordon Allott, February 23, 1959

Frank E. Moss, February 22, 1960

John M. Butler, February 22, 1961

Jennings Randolph, February 22, 1962

Winston L. Prouty, February 22, 1963

Edmund S. Muskie, February 21, 1964

James B. Pearson, February 22, 1965

Lee Metcalf, February 22, 1966

Norris Cotton, February 22, 1967

Daniel B. Brewster, February 22, 1968

Paul J. Fannin, February 21, 1969

Quentin N. Burdick, February 23, 1970

J. Glenn Beall, Jr., February 22, 1971

Lloyd Bentsen, February 21, 1972

Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., February 19, 1973

Harold Hughes, February 18, 1974

Jake Garn, Febriaru 17, 1975

Vance Hartke, February 16, 1976

S. I. Hayakawa, February 21, 1977

Walter Huddleston, February 20, 1978

Donald Stewart, February 18, 1980

Nancy Kassebaum, February 16, 1981

Paul S. Trible, Jr., February 21, 1983

Paula Hawkins, February 18, 1985

Terry Sanford, February 15, 1988

Charles S. Robb, February 22, 1990

Conrad Burns, February 22, 1991

Harris Wofford, February 19, 1992

Dirk Kempthorne, February 24, 1993

Carol Moseley-Braun, February 22, 1994

Craig Thomas, February 20, 1995

Bill Frist, February 24, 1997

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, February 22, 2000

George Allen, February 26, 2001

Jon Corzine, February 25, 2002

John Breaux, February 23, 2004

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