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Traditions & Symbols


The U.S. Senate relies heavily on tradition and precedent. Many of its current rules, procedures, and traditions date from the First Congress in 1789.


Becoming a Senator and Organizing a New Congress

Organizing a New Congress

Procedure
Orientation Programs
The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor (CRS) (PDF)
Congress' Early Organizational Meetings (CRS) (PDF)
Article 1, Section 3 Constitutional authority for dividing Senate into three classes.
Amendment XX, Section 2 Constitutional Authority noting January 3rd as the opening day of a new Congress.
Committees
Committee Assignment Process in the US Senate (CRS) (PDF)
Rule XXIV Standard Rules of the Senate: Committee Assignment

Oath Taking

Essays
Oath of Office
The Oath Act May 5, 1789
Senator Resigns to Protest Loyalty Oath January 29, 1864
Laws and Rules
Rule III Standing Rules of the Senate: Taking the Oath
Article 6 Constitutional directive to take the Oath

Members' Order-of-Service

Members' Order-of-Service Numbers
Seniority
"Father of the Senate"
Chronological List of All Senators (PDF)

On the Senate Floor

Senators

Senators (current)

Leaders

Leadership
Floor Leaders' Right of Priority Recognition

Officers

Officers and Staff

Symbols on the Senate Floor

Desks
Interactive Desk Exhibit
Choosing Desks
Candy Desk
Gavel
Golden Gavel Award
Senate Gavels
The Senate's New Gavel November 17, 1954

Senate Floor Proceedings

Start of Each Day's Session
Chaplain's Prayer
Pledge of Allegiance
Senate Standing Rules
Rules and Procedure
Honoring Distinguished Visitors
Presentation of Messages

Legacies

Seersucker Thursday
Senate Bean Soup
Naming of Buildings and Rooms
Vice-Presidential Busts
Senate Reception Room's "Famous Five" Now the "Famous Nine"
Washington's Farewell Address February 22, 1862
End-of-Session Valedictories and Eulogies
Funerals and Memorial Services

Symbols

The Material Culture of the Senate
Eagle and Shield
Senate Flag
Senate Seal
Senate Seal, Mar 31, 1885
Senate Snuff Boxes
Snuff Box Cat. no. 93.00029.000
Snuff Box Cat no. 93.00028.000

Related Publications

   Traditions of the United States Senate (PDF)

Related Links

   Art in the Senate |    History