30 July 2013

Congressional Action Addendum

Last Friday’s blog post, Spider Role Model, took a swipe at the U.S. Congress’s refusal to compromise on behalf of the country. I suppose we should be grateful that at least it’s been relatively civil up there on the hill. Yes, there was an extremely rude interruption of the President’s speech to Congress, but in the past, we’ve had some real doozies, even a fatal duel!

This addendum offers a few episodes that were depicted in print. Although the graphics are found on many websites, information about the events as well as others can be found on the History, Art & Archives website of the U.S. House of Representatives. Go directly to http://history.house.gov/HistoricalHighlight/Search?subject=Violence.

In 1798, Rep. Roger Griswold, Conn., attacked
Rep. Matthew Lyon, Vt., on the House floor
After the House failed to expel Lyon for spitting
tobacco juice at Griswold.
In 1856, Rep. Preston Brooks, S.C., severely beat
Sen. Charles Sumner, Mass., in response to Sumner’s
 speech attacking slavery and pro-slavery senators.
In 1858, over 50 House members joined
in a fight during a debate over Kansas’s
pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution.
As for disruptions that occur occasionally in the legislative bodies of a few other countries, consider the following example.

Brawling opposition political parties.

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