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U.S. Senate History



The United States Senate is often described as the world's greatest deliberative body. Many of the most influential political leaders in U.S. history have served there. A total of fifteen senators later became President. Forteen incumbent senators were nominated for President. Twenty-two senators later served as Vice President. Twenty-seven incumbent senators were nominated for Vice President. Nearly one hundred senators later governed their respective states.

Nine governors even resigned in order to serve in the Senate. So did Vice President John C. Calhoun. The ranks of the Senate are frequently sought out to fill cabinet posts, ambassadorial appointments and even the Supreme Court.

The Senate has been the subject of countless movies, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which helped make actor Jimmy Stewart a renouned star, and Advice & Consent, which featured Henry Fonda and an all-star cast.

Explore just a fraction of Senate history with the links below.


Highly Recommended Movies About the U.S. Senate

  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    Director Frank Capra caused quite a stir with this 1939 classic when he dared suggest that corruption existed in the U.S. Congress of all places. Starring Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Harry Carey, Edward Arnold. Buy Now!  Available on VHS  |  DVD

  • Advise & Consent
    This 1962 Otto Preminger drama with an all-star cast speculates how far some politicians are willing to go to defeat a presidential nominee. Starring Henry Fonda, Don Murray, Charles Laughton, Walter Pigeon, Peter Lawford, Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres. Buy Now!  Available on VHS

  • The Candidate
    This classic 1972 drama by director Michael Ritchie stars Robert Redford as a political idealist recruited to make a run for the U.S. Senate from California. A very accurate reflection of what goes on in a modern day political campaign. Also Starring Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield, Melvyn Douglas and Kenneth Tobey. Buy Now!  Available on VHS  |  DVD

  • Point of Order
    This political documentary about the Communist witch hunt of the 1950s shows the methods that Sen. Joe McCarthy used in interrogating law-abiding Americans. These Senate hearings pointedly demonstrate how a demagogue, hiding behind the American flag and the power of Congress, destroyed countless lives and careers. Buy Now!  Available on VHS





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