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Encyclopedia > Traditions of the United States Senate
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The United States Senate observes a number of traditions, some formal and some informal. A number of present and former traditions are described below: Jump to: navigation, search Seal of the Senate The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the Congress of the United States, the other being the House of Representatives. ... Jump to: navigation, search The word tradition, comes from the Latin word traditio which means to hand down or to hand over. ...

Contents


Arriving senators

Taking the Oath of Office

Upon certification by his home state, a Senator formally takes an oath of office with the following words: An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before officially assuming an office. ...

"I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Jump to: navigation, search The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...

Maiden speeches

From the Senate's earliest days new members have observed a ritual of remaining silent during floor debates for a period of time. Depending on the era and the Senator this has ranged from several months to several years. Today, of course, this obsolescent Senate tradition survives only in part—that part being the special attention given to a member's first major address, or maiden speech.


Jefferson Bible

Beginning in 1817 and continuing every other year until around the 1950s, new members of Congress were given a copy of "The Life And Morals of Jesus of Nazareth", an "edited" version of the Bible by Thomas Jefferson that excluded what he felt were statements about the supernatural. Until the practice first stopped, copies were provided by the Government Printing Office; a private organization, the Libertarian Press, revived the practice in 1997 [1]. 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search // Events and trends The 1950s in Western society was marked with a sharp rise in the economy for the first time in almost 30 years and return to the 1920s-type consumer society built on credit and boom-times, as well as the height of the... The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States of America. ... The Jefferson Bible, or The Life And Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was an attempt by Thomas Jefferson to compile the teachings of Jesus from the Christian Gospels. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Bible (sometimes The Book, Good Book, Word of God, or Scripture), from Greek (τα) βιβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, plural of βιβλιον, biblion, book, originally a diminutive of βιβλος, biblos, which in turn is derived from βυβλος—byblos, meaning papyrus, from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported this... Jump to: navigation, search Thomas Jefferson (April 13 (April 2 O.S.), 1743 – July 4, 1826) was the third (1801–1809) President of the United States, second (1797–1801) Vice President, first (1789–1795) United States Secretary of State, and an American statesman, ambassador to France, political philosopher, revolutionary, agriculturalist... Jump to: navigation, search The supernatural (Latin: super- exceeding + nature) comprises forces and phenomena which are beyond the realm of current scientific understanding, and which may actually directly contradict conventional scientific understandings. ... The logotype of the United States Government Printing Office In the United States, the Government Printing Office (GPO) provides printed (and now electronic) copies of documents produced by and for all federal agencies, including the Supreme Court, the Congress, and all executive branch agencies like the FCC and EPA. Court...


Daily rituals

The procedural activities of the Senate are guided by the Standing Rules of the Senate. Also, tradition states that each day is begun with the Chaplain's Daily Prayer, which can be given by a representative of any mainstream faith tradition. Jump to: navigation, search The Standing Rules of the Senate detail the rules of order of the United States Senate. ...


Departing senators

At the end of a session of Congress it is traditional for senators to read speeches into the Congressional Record praising the efforts of colleagues who will not be returning for the next session. The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. ...


If a senator dies in office, it is traditional for the Senate to adjourn for a day and for US flags to be flown at half-staff. A large contingent of senators often flies to the home state of the departed senator to pay their respects. Flag Flying Half-Staff over the White House Half-mast, or half-staff, describes the act of flying a flag approximately halfway up a flagpole (though anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of the way up the flagpole is acceptable). ...


Reading of Washington's Farewell Address

No Senate tradition has been more steadfastly maintained than the annual reading of President George Washington's Farewell Address. This tradition, originally designed to be a morale-boosting gesture during the Civil War's darkest hours, began on February 22, 1862. George Washingtons Farewell Address was an address by George Washington to the people of the United States at the end of his second term as President of the United States. ... The American Civil War was fought in the United States from 1861 until 1865 between the northern states, popularly referred to as the U.S., the Union, the North, or the Yankees; and the seceding southern states, commonly referred to as the Confederate States of America, the CSA, the Confederacy... Jump to: navigation, search February 22 is the 53rd day of every year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


Senate chamber

A number of items located around the Senate chamber are steeped in tradition.


Senate desks

In 1819 new desks were ordered for the senators to replace the original set which was destroyed in the British attack on Washington in the War of 1812. The Daniel Webster desk has the oldest design as it lacks a 19th century modification to add extra storage space to the top. When Daniel Webster acquired this seat, he pronounced that if his predecessor could organize himself to work with the reduced desk space, so could he. Every subsequent senator who has sat at that desk has also declined to have it improved. In keeping with a 1974 Senate resolution, this desk is assigned to the senior Senator from Webster's birth state, New Hampshire, Judd Gregg as of 2005. 1819 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search The War of 1812 was a conflict fought on land in North America and at sea around the world between the United States and United Kingdom from 1812 to 1815. ... Jump to: navigation, search Daniel Webster Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852) was a United States Senator and Secretary of State. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1974 is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search State nickname: The Granite State Other U.S. States Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Governor John Lynch (D) Senators Judd Gregg (R) John Sununu (R) Official languages English Area 24,239 km² (46th)  - Land 23,249 km²  - Water 814 km² (3. ... Jump to: navigation, search Judd Alan Gregg (born February 14, 1947) is an American politician from New Hampshire, currently serving in the U.S. Senate. ...


The Jefferson Davis desk was partly destroyed by overzealous Union Army soldiers who began to bayonet the desk previously used by the Confederate leader and former Senator from Mississippi, Jefferson Davis, before the Senate Doorkeeper could intervene to protect what was government property. The desk was repaired and is still in use today, by the senior Senator from Mississippi, Thad Cochran as of 2005. The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... Jump to: navigation, search The US Marine Corps OKC-3S bayonet A bayonet is a knife- or dagger-shaped weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle of a rifle or similar weapon. ... Jump to: navigation, search Motto: Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God our Vindicator) Anthem: God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama February 4, 1861–May 29, 1861 Richmond, Virginia May 29, 1861–April 9, 1865 Danville, Virginia April 3–April 10, 1865 Largest city New Orleans February 4... Jump to: navigation, search State nickname: Magnolia State Other U.S. States Capital Jackson Largest city Jackson Governor Haley Barbour (R) Senators Thad Cochran (R) Trent Lott (R) Official languages English Area 125,546 km² (32nd)  - Land 121,606 km²  - Water 3,940 km² (3%) Population (2000)  - Population 2,697... Jump to: navigation, search Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808 – December 6, 1889) was an American soldier and politician. ... William Thad Cochran (born December 7, 1937) is the senior United States Senator from Mississippi. ...


Senate gavel

The Senate gavel is a unique ivory gavel with an hour-glass shape and no handle, presented to the Senate by India and first used on November 17, 1954. It replaced the gavel in use since at least 1789, which had deteriorated over the years and finally cracked during the 1954 Senate session. Ivory is a hard, white, opaque substance that is the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals such as the elephant, hippopotamus, walrus, mammoth, etc. ... A gavel is a hammer-like instrument used by judges and presiding officers. ... Jump to: navigation, search 17 November is also the name of a Marxist group in Greece. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1954(MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1789 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


Bean soup

According to one custom, bean soup must be available on the menu every day in the Congressional dining areas. This tradition, which dates back to the early twentieth century, is said to be based on an edict by Senator Fred Dubois of Idaho (or in another version of the story to Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota). Fortunately the recipe and the specific type of bean is allowed to vary. Jump to: navigation, search State nickname: Gem State Other U.S. States Capital Boise Largest city Boise Governor Dirk Kempthorne (R) Senators Larry Craig (R) Mike Crapo (R) Official language(s) none Area 216,632 km² (14th)  - Land 214,499 km²  - Water 2,133 km² (0. ... Knute Nelson Knute Nelson (February 2, 1843–April 28, 1923) was an American politician. ... Jump to: navigation, search State nickname: North Star State Other U.S. States Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) Senators Mark Dayton (D) Norm Coleman (R) Official language(s) None Area 225,365 km² (12th)  - Land 206,375 km²  - Water 18,990 km² (8. ...


External link

Senate website on their traditions


  Results from FactBites:
 
Traditions of the United States Senate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (691 words)
If a senator dies in office, it is traditional for the Senate to adjourn for a day and for US flags to be flown at half-staff.
In keeping with a 1974 Senate resolution, this desk is assigned to the senior Senator from Webster's birth state, New Hampshire, Judd Gregg as of 2005.
This tradition, which dates back to the early twentieth century, is said to be based on an edict by Senator Fred Dubois of Idaho (or in another version of the story to Senator Knute Nelson of Minnesota).
United States Senate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5288 words)
The senator from each state with the longer tenure is known as the "senior senator," and his or her counterpart as the "junior senator"; this convention, however, does not have any special significance.
The Senate meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Like the House of Representatives, the Senate meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. At one end of the Chamber of the Senate is a dais from which the Presiding Officer (the Vice President or the President pro Tempore) presides.
United States, although the Senate's advice and consent is required for the appointment of certain executive branch officials, it is not necessary for their removal.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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