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Second Senator from New Hampshire ever selected to read address

(Washington, D.C.) – As part of a time-honored Senate tradition, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today read President George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address on the Senate floor in commemoration of Washington’s birthday.  Shaheen’s reading marked the 150th anniversary of the tradition, under which the Senate selects one of its members to read the speech each year, alternating parties.

Published in September 1796, Washington used the address to announce his decision not to seek a third term and to offer his political testament to the nation. 

Shaheen is only the second Senator from New Hampshire ever selected to read the address—the other being Norris Cotton, who delivered it in 1967.  Shaheen was also the first female Senator to read the address since 1998. 

“George Washington led us to triumph in the Revolutionary War and served as our first president.  It’s impossible to overstate the importance of his leadership to our country,” Shaheen said.  “I was humbled and honored to have the opportunity to read his Farewell Address.”

Click here to read a copy of Washington’s Farewell Address and here for more information about the address.