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.
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