1811 – First censuring of a U.S. senator


Senator Timothy Pickering, a Federalist from Massachusetts, becomes the first senator to be censured when the Senate approves a censure motion against him by a vote of 20 to seven. Pickering was accused of violating congressional law by publicly revealing secret documents communicated by the president to the Senate.

During the Revolutionary War, Pickering served as General George Washington’s adjutant general and in 1791 was appointed postmaster general by President Washington. In 1795, he briefly served as Washington’s secretary of war before being appointed secretary of state in 1795. He retained his post under the administration of President John Adams but was dismissed in 1800, when Adams, a moderate Federalist, learned that he had been plotting with Alexander Hamilton to steer the United States into war with revolutionary France. Returning to Massachusetts, he was elected a U.S. senator, but resigned after he was censured for revealing to the public secret foreign policy documents sent by the president to Congress. An outspoken opponent of the War of 1812, Pickering was elected as a representative from Massachusetts in 1813 and served two terms before retiring from politics.

Citation Information

Article Title

First censuring of a U.S. senator

AuthorHistory.com Editors

Website Name

HISTORY

URL

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-censuring-of-a-u-s-senator

Access Date

January 1, 2023

Publisher

A&E Television Networks

Last Updated

December 21, 2021

Original Published Date

July 21, 2010

1923 – Secretary Fall resigns in Teapot Dome scandal


Albert Fall, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, resigns in response to public outrage over the Teapot Dome scandal. Fall’s resignation illuminated a deeply corrupt relationship between western developers and the federal government.

Born in Kentucky in 1861, Albert Fall moved to New Mexico in 1887 because doctors told him the dry desert air would improve his health. Fall thrived in his new home, quickly building up a large ranching operation near Las Cruces and investing in silver mining and other ventures. By the turn of the century, Fall was a well-respected and powerful western businessman, and he used his considerable resources to win a seat in the U.S. Senate when New Mexico became a state in 1912.

Citation Information

Article Title

Secretary Fall resigns in Teapot Dome scandal

AuthorHistory.com Editors

Website Name

HISTORY

URL

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/secretary-fall-resigns-in-teapot-dome-scandal

Access Date

January 1, 2023

Publisher

A&E Television Networks

Last Updated

December 21, 2021

Original Published Date

November 16, 2009

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Catholic forces under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella take the town of Granada, the last Muslim kingdom in Spain.

1758 The French begin bombardment of Madras, India.
1839 Photography pioneer Louis Daguerre takes the first photograph of the moon.
1861 The USS Brooklyn is readied at Norfolk to aid Fort Sumter.
1863 In the second day of hard fighting at Stone’s River, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., Union troops defeat the Confederates.
1903 President Theodore Roosevelt closes a post office in Indianola, Mississippi, for refusing to hire a Black postmistress.
1904 U.S. Marines are sent to Santo Domingo to aid the government against rebel forces.
1905 After a six-month siege, Russians surrender Port Arthur to the Japanese.
1918 Russian Bolsheviks threaten to re-enter the war unless Germany returns occupied territory.
1932 Japanese forces in Manchuria set up a puppet government known as Manchukuo.
1936 In Berlin, Nazi officials claim that their treatment of Jews is not the business of the League of Nations.
1942 In the Philippines, the city of Manila and the U.S. Naval base at Cavite fall to Japanese forces.
1943 The Allies capture Buna in New Guinea.
1963 In Vietnam, the Viet Cong down five U.S. helicopters in the Mekong Delta. 30 Americans are reported dead.
1966 American G.I.s move into the Mekong Delta for the first time.
1973 The United States admits the accidental bombing of a Hanoi hospital.
1980 President Jimmy Carter asks the U.S. Senate to delay the arms treaty ratification in response to Soviet action in Afghanistan.
1981 British police arrest the “Yorkshire Ripper” serial killer, Peter Sutcliffe.
1999 A severe winter storm hits the Midwestern US; in Chicago temperatures plunge to -13 ºF and19 inches of snow fell; 68 deaths are blamed on the storm.
2006 A coal mine explosion in Sago, West Virginia, kills 12 miners and critically injures another. This accident and another within weeks lead to the first changes in federal mining laws in decades.