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Moments in Congressional History

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I ran across former Speaker of the House Galusha Grow today. Hadn’t thought of him in awhile and remembered he is one of the great names in Congressional history. I read his Wikipedia page and was reminded of just how horrible Congress was in the 1850s, when the Democrats became a party of fireeating extremists:

During the 35th United States Congress, on February 5, 1858, he was physically attacked by Democrat Laurence M. Keitt in the House chambers, leading to a brawl between northerners and southerners. Keitt, offended by Grow having stepped over to his side of the House chamber, dismissively demanded that Grow sit down, calling him a “black Republican puppy”. Grow responded by telling Keitt that “No negro-driver shall crack his whip over me.” Keitt became enraged and went for Grow’s throat, shouting that he would “choke [him] for that”. A large brawl involving approximately 50 representatives erupted on the House floor, ending only when a missed punch from Rep. Cadwallader Washburn of Wisconsin upended the hairpiece of Rep. William Barksdale of Mississippi. The embarrassed Barksdale accidentally replaced the wig backwards, causing both sides to erupt in spontaneous laughter.

I suppose it’s only a matter of time before Republicans start physically attacking Democrats on the floor of the House.

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