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Washington's Farewell Address

George Washington (Patrae Pater)

One of the Senate's most enduring traditions is the annual reading of President George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address (pdf) by a current member of the U.S. Senate. This tradition began in 1862, became an annual event in 1893, and continues to this day. After the appointed senator reads the 7,641-word statement in legislative session, he or she follows another Senate tradition, signing his or her name in Washington's Farewell Address Book.