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Constitution of the United States

Senate Chamber

The Senate moved into its current chamber when the north wing of the Capitol was completed in 1859. Since the Civil War era, senators have deliberated, voted on legislation, and advised on and consented to treaties and nominations in this chamber.

            The Senate Chamber 1859-2009

    Constructing the Chamber

            President Selects Location for New Senate Chamber (May 1, 1851)
            Constructing a Senate Theater (Nov 1857)
            The Senate's New Chamber (Jan 4, 1859)
            Senators Vote to Knock Out Walls (May 11, 1928)

    Chamber Desks

            Senate Chamber Desks
            Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais (CRS Report) (pdf)
            Senate Donates Historic Desk (Sep 22, 1950)

    Historical Events in the Chamber

            Soldiers Occupy the Senate Chamber (Apr 19, 1861)
            A Dramatic Session (Jul 4, 1861)
            The Senate Chamber During the Civil War 1861-1865
            A Presidential Visitor (Jan 22, 1917)
            Radio Days (May 2, 1924)
            Churchill Addresses Congress (Dec 26, 1941)
            Escaping the Summer's Heat (Jul 27, 1956)
            Smile: Photographing the Senate in Session (Sep 24, 1963)
            Loud and Clear (Jan 25, 1971)


            The Senate visitor gallery (within the Senate chamber) is open whenever the Senate is in session and from 9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, when the Senate is not in session. Please visit your senator's office to obtain passes to the gallery.

The Old Senate Chamber

            The Old Senate Chamber 1810-1859 (pdf)
            Virtual Tour: The Old Senate Chamber

    Historical Events in the Old Senate Chamber

            Bitter Feelings in the Senate Chamber (Apr 3, 1850)
            The Caning of Senate Charles Sumner (May 22, 1856)
            The Florida Case (February 5, 1877)
            A Shrine Restored (June 16, 1976)

Historical Meeting Places

            Meeting Places and Quarters
            Senate Moves to Philadelphia (Dec 6, 1790)
            Senate Moves to Washington (Nov 17, 1800)
            Senate Convenes in Emergency Quarters (Sep 19, 1814)
            The Nine Capitals of the United States (book feature)