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1889

Telegram announcing Washinton's admission as a state in the Union

November 11

Washington was admitted as the 42nd state in the Union.

1889

John Beard Allen (R-WA)

November 19

John Beard Allen, born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, but later of Walla Walla, Washington, and former territorial governor Watson Carvosso Squire, born in New York but later of Seattle, were elected as Washington's first United States senators.

1889

Watson Squire (R-WA)

December 2

John Allen and Watson Squire presented their credentials and took the oath to support the Constitution. Two days later, they drew lots to determine their class assignments. Allen drew Class 2, with a term due to expire on March 3, 1893, while Squire drew Class 3, with a term due to expire on March 3, 1891.

1893

March 20

The election credentials of John B. Allen were presented at a special session of the Senate, but he was not permitted to take his seat. Governor John H. McGraw had appointed Allen to fill the Senate vacancy caused by the state legislature having adjourned without electing Allen's own successor. At issue was whether a governor could make an appointment to fill a vacancy at the beginning of a Senate term, as opposed to filling a mid‑term vacancy. On August 28, 1893, a closely divided Senate voted, 32 to 29, that Allen was not entitled to the seat. A vacancy remained in this class from March 4, 1893, to January 31, 1895.

1911

Miles Poindexter (R-WA)

March 4

Miles Poindexter, born in Memphis but later of Spokane, began the first of two Senate terms. Elected as a Republican, Poindexter joined the Progressive Party in 1913 and was that party's sole sitting senator. Poindexter's third‑party membership was short‑lived. In 1915 he returned to the Republican Party and was reelected to the Senate in 1916.

1914

Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

November 3

Born near Bethany, Illinois, but later of North Yakima and Seattle, Wesley Livsey Jones became Washington's first directly elected senator under the terms of the Seventeenth Amendment.

1919

Wesley Livsey Jones (R-WA)

May 28

Wesley Livsey Jones became chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until 1930. On January 6, 1930, Jones became the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, a position he held until 1932.

1922

Cover of the Farewell Address Notebook

February 22

Senator Miles Poindexter delivered George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, a tradition dating to 1862.

1929

March 5

Wesley Livsey Jones was elected Republican whip, serving until 1929.

1933

Clarence Cleveland Dill (D-WA)

March 9

Clarence Cleveland Dill, born in Fredericktown, Ohio, but later of Spokane, became chairman of the Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until 1935.

1939

William O. Douglas

April 4

The Senate confirmed the nomination of William Orville Douglas, a graduate of Yakima High School and Whitman College in Walla Walla, as an associate justice of the Supreme Court by a vote of 62 to 4.

1940

Lewis Baxter Schwellenbach (D-WA)

December 16

Senator Lewis Baxter Schwellenbach, born in Superior, Wisconsin, but later of Neppel, resigned his seat, having been appointed U.S. District Judge for the Eastern district of Washington.

1944

Warren G. Magnuson

December 14

Warren Grant Magnuson ("Maggie"), originally of Moorhead, Minnesota, but later of Seattle, took his Senate oath of office after resigning his House seat. Magnuson's 36 years of Senate service remain a record for the state.

1953

Henry "Scoop" Jackson

January 3

Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson of Everett began the first of his six terms in the Senate. Reelected five more times, Jackson died in office on September 1, 1983. Jackson was Washington state's first native‑born U.S. senator and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1972 and 1976.

1953

Statue of Marcus Whitman, National Statuary Hall Collection

February 18

The Senate moved to accept a bronze statue of Marcus Whitman, a pioneer, doctor, and missionary in the Washington Territory, by Avard Fairbanks, for placement in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

1955

Warren G. Magnuson (D-WA)

January 11

Warren G. Magnuson became chairman of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce and continued to chair the committee in its subsequent incarnations: the Committee on Commerce, 1961‑1977, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 1977‑1978. With this continuous service, Magnuson achieved the third-longest tenure of a Senate committee chairman, 23 years and 17 days.

1977

Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson (D-WA)

February 11

Henry M. Jackson became chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, serving until 1981. Jackson had chaired the committee under its former name, the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, from 1963 to 1977.

1978

January 27

Warren G. Magnuson became chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, serving until 1981.

1979

PPT Seal

January 15

The Senate elected Warren G. Magnuson as its president pro tempore.

1979

Statue of Mother Joseph (Esther Pariseau), National Statuary Hall Collection

December 6

The Senate moved to accept a bronze statue of Pacific Northwest Territory missionary Mother Joseph (Esther Pariseau) by Felix W. de Weldon for placement in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

1981

Warren G. Magnuson

January 3

Warren G. Magnuson ended 36 years of service in the Senate and is Washington State's longest-serving senator. The state's duo of "Maggie" and "Scoop" Jackson, as they were affectionately called by their colleagues, was one of the most powerful Senate delegations of the 20th century. During their 27 years together they were often referred to as the "Gold Dust Boys," reflecting the numerous federal projects and federal assistance they attained for their constituents.

1982

Thomas Slade Gorton III (R-WA)

September 15

Thomas Slade Gorton, III, born in Chicago but later of Olympia, received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for at least 100 hours in a single session. During this single term in office as the state's Class 3 senator, Gorton received the Golden Gavel award twice more, on September 17, 1984, and on July 29, 1986.

1984

Presidential Medal of Freedom

June 26

Senator Henry M. Jackson was awarded a posthumous 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. . 

1986

Daniel Jackson Evans (R-WA)

August 6

Daniel Jackson Evans of Seattle received the Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for at least 100 hours in a single session.

1987

Henry Jackson

November 19

A large bronze bust of Henry M. ("Scoop") Jackson by Wendy M. Ross was unveiled in an alcove of the Russell Senate Office Building.

1988

Golden Gavel

November 8

Former senator Thomas Slade Gorton, III of Seattle was again elected to the Senate, this time to the Class 1 seat. Reelected in 1994, Gorton received three more Golden Gavel Awards for presiding over the Senate for at least 100 hours in a single session: September 24, 1996, October 8, 1998, and September 12, 2000. Gorton's six gavels are a Senate record.

2000

Patty Murray (D-WA)

December 5

The Democratic Conference elected Patty Murray of Seattle, who became Washington State's first woman senator in 1993, chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 107th Congress (2001‑2003). She became chairman of the campaign committee again in 2011 and served until 2013. 

2006

November 14

The Democratic Conference elected Patty Murray as Conference secretary for the 110th Congress, a position to which she was reelected on November 18, 2008.

2013

January 24

Patty Murray became the first woman to chair the Senate Committee on the Budget.

2013

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

January 24

Maria Cantwell of Edmonds became the first woman to chair the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, a position she held until February 12, 2014, when she became chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.