A Seat at the Table

The Senate’s Republican Conference Assembles in 1977

Posted March 18, 2003 at 12:33pm

As Jimmy Carter was preparing for his inauguration in January 1977, the Senate Republican Conference was getting ready for the 95th Congress.

This photo shows the Conference during its first meeting of the session just after Sen. Howard Baker (Tenn.) was elected Minority Leader and Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska) was elected Minority Whip. Baker and Stevens are pictured in front of the American flag in the row of Senators standing on the right side of the photo.

Baker won the post by just one vote over Sen. Robert Griffin (Mich.), 19-18.

The 95th Congress had eight freshman Republican Senators: John Chafee (R.I.), John Danforth (Mo.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), S.I. Hayakawa (Calif.), John Heinz (Pa.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Harrison Schmitt (N.M.) and Malcom Wallop (Wyo.).

The only other current Republican Senator pictured is Pete Domenici (N.M.), who is seated on the left side of the table, seventh from the left.

Other Senators of note in the photo: Sen. Bob Dole (Kan.), first from left, back row; and Sen. Strom Thurmond (S.C.), seated prominently in the left corner of the photo at the end of the table.