First day of Congress in 1936 - something of a contrast to 1995, but still a free-for-all. One of the first times the proceedings of Congress were broadcast.
January 5, 2011

Speaker Of The House Joseph Byrns (left) - vice President John N. Garner (right) - taking a break from the mayhem.

In contrast to the first day of Congress in 1995, here is the first day of Congress in 1936. Certainly one of the first on-the-spot broadcasts of Congress in action, it's an interesting glimpse into the goings on from an earlier time. No less partisan and no less cantankerous, it may be a bit dim at times to listen to, but the spirit and the persistent gavel banging is all there for this half hour excerpt of what was a three hour broadcast.

On hand to comment on the events was Washington Bureau Chief for the Baltimore Sun J. Fred Essary who offers some insights as to what's in store for this session of the 74th Congress:

J. Fred Essary (Chief, Washington Bureau, Baltimore Sun):”Congress may be called upon first to pick up and then to patch up the wreckage of many of the New Deal measures, wreckage thrown upon the legislative doorstep, when the Supreme Court shall have ruled upon the constitutionality of the AAA, Coal Control, TVA, cotton control, securities control, regulation of both holding companies and labor disputes. Practically the whole of the New Deal program. The fact is, Ladies and Gentlemen, the shadow of the Supreme Court more completely envelopes Congress at this time than at any other within our recollection.”

Further evidence it just doesn't change - only the players and the clothes.

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