At the start of our new government, Congress intended most of its business to be completed by something called the Committee of the Whole. The Congress knew smaller committees would be necessary in order to legislate properly, but it only created those committees as needed and on a temporary basis. As the Congress and our country grew, that idea began to change. In 1815, the Senate realized it continued to create a handful of similar committees at the start of each Congress. This list of proposed standing committees was submitted for consideration on December 5, 1816. As approved on December 10, the first standing committees of the U.S. Senate were: Foreign Relations, Finance, Commerce and Manufactures, Military Affairs, Militia, Naval Affairs, Public Lands, Claims, Judiciary, Post Offices and Post Roads, and Pensions. These eleven committees were so essential to the function of the U.S. Senate that many of them can still be found operating in one form or another in today!
Motion for the appointment of standing committees, 12/5/1816, SEN 14A-B6, Records of the U.S. Senate (ARC 306480)
The United Nations document A/66/44 transmits the Report of the Committee against Torture for the 45th session held on (1–19 November 2010) and for the 46th session held on (9 May–3 June 2011).
The Committee Against Torture (CAT) is the body of 10 independent experts that monitors…
Congress in the Archives will feature a monthly staff post on our blog. January’s post comes from Center archives technician, Adam Berenbak.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, officially formed in 1816, serves to consider legislation concerning foreign affairs, treaties, and nominations of diplomatic and consular representatives. This role as essential participants in the development of U.S. foreign policy has led not only to extensive travel around the globe, but also the need to host and engage visiting foreign dignitaries. Though often the official state welcome has been at the White House, few visiting dignitaries have missed a lunch or afternoon coffee with senators. The committee has hosted such visitors as members of the North Atlantic Assembly and delegations from a variety of countries, including China (for which a note was left chiding a staffer to ensure the spinach was not overcooked!),
and dignitaries such as Golda Meir, King Hussain bin Talal of Jordan, German Chancellor Willy Brandt, President Mobutu of Zaire, Helen Vlachos, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, Prince (and future King) Juan Carlos of Spain, as well as Imelda Marcos, General Secretary of the USSR Leonid Brezhnev, and our lady of the hour, Margaret Thatcher.
In addition to reports, bills, correspondence, and other sometimes mundane material, the records of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee include memos and seating arrangements, menus, dietary restrictions of guests, as well as profiles and briefing materials on the guests, often times containing pronunciation guides for the more difficult to pronounce names. Among these papers are itemized receipts that show the committee paid for lunch, juice, gratuity, flowers, and cigars for Mrs. Thatcher’s visit on September 18, 1975.
After her visit in 1975, Thatcher would go on to be elected the first woman in her country’s history to serve as Prime Minister in 1979. Her note thanking the committee for their hospitality spoke volumes of her courtesy as well as her political aspirations: “I hope we shall meet again soon.”
Thatcher is being portrayed by Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, which premieres today.China delegation visit food memo, 12/19/1974, Records of the U.S. SenateMargaret Thatcher letter, 9/23/1975, Records of the U.S. Senate
The reports of the Fifth committee to the plenary of the General Assembly have been published and now available online:
Smart systems are proliferating in nearly all fields. And their use covers quite a broad range, including smart household appliances, smartphone navigation apps, smart security apps that identify suspicious activity, and supercomputers that use artificial intelligence to give expert medical or legal advice.
Already there are 1.8 billion smart systems in service worldwide, cutting across every application area under the sun—from personal hygiene to public transportation—but that number will more than double to over 4 billion over the next five years.
Van Jones, seen here with me and my colleague Charles, popped by Occupy Yom Kippur to express his gratitude for our efforts and to wish us all a meaningful fast and a beautiful holiday. An unexpected and welcome surprise!
We here at Simply Statistics are big fans of science news reporting. We read newspapers, blogs, and the news sections of scientific journals to keep up with the coolest new research.
But health science reporting, although exciting, can also be incredibly frustrating to read. Many articles have…
“Tell Mitt the Pachyderm is coming to collect. He’ll know what it means.”
Good morning everyone!
I’m excited to announce that I will be guest editing the Lucky Magazine tumblr all week! I’ll be posting new collages (they’ll be here too), inspiration photos, videos, songs, and maybe even taking some questions. Make sure to check it out between today and Friday! Happy Monday!