Maiden Speeches in the Senate
June 17, 2011
When Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave his first speech on the Senate floor this week, his Florida colleague, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) rose to commend him and to recall his own maiden speech on January 30, 2001. He recalled how as he began, the doors of the Senate flung open and Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) entered to listen to the speech. Following Nelson’s speech, Senator Byrd discussed the traditions of maiden speeches by senators and how in the days before television, senators would gather to listen to the first speech by a newly elected senator. That tradition has declined and new senators give their first speeches much earlier in their careers and much earlier than Rubio gave his first speech. Senator Byrd went on to talk about his childhood in West Virginia and lessons in learned about education in the two-room schoolhouse he attended.
You can easily use the C-SPAN Video Library to locate and listen to the maiden speech of senators elected after 1987. Just type in the senator’s name, select their picture that shows up, and then look for their first Senate session in which they speak. It is just one of the many uses of the Video Library.
June 14, 2011
On Flag Day we look back to the controversy over flag burning in the U.S. Decisions in 1989 (Texas v. Johnson) and 1990 (U.S. v. Eichman) ruled that flag burning was speech protected by the First Amendment. Joey Johnson, defendant in the first case, commented on his action in burning the flag. In 1989, the Congress tried to reverse this decision by statute and was overturned by the Court. So, in 1990 they debated a constitutional amendment in the House. The closing remarks in the House by Rep. Hyde (R-IL) and Speaker Foley (D-WA) were particularly eloquent and can be found in the Video Library. View the entire remarks of Hyde and Foley. The amendment failed obtain the two-thirds vote needed to pass a constitutional amendment.
The efforts to pass a constitutional amendment did not end in 1990. This chart show subsequent efforts. In 2005, the amendment passed the House, but failed in the Senate by one vote. You can review all of these debates in the C-SPAN Video Library.
Senate Quorum Calls
June 10, 2011
Senate quorum calls were the subject of a Washington Post story Friday June 10, 2011. The story discussed the slow pace of the Senate and the fact that one-third of the Senate sessions this year have been in quorum calls. The story relied on statistics from the C-SPAN Video Library. Read the entire story here.
Here is the chart that was published with the story:
June 6, 2011
The C-SPAN Video Library has many programs related to D-Day. Presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama all spoke at anniversaries. On the fiftieth anniversary in 1994, C-SPAN aired a multi-hour look at D-Day. Search D-Day Remembered to find these interviews. There are also many books on D-Day. Search D-Day Books to find these. You can also find old newsreels in the Video Library. Use this anniversary to search the Video Library to see what C-SPAN has covered on D-Day.