This photo, which appeared in the Dec. 11, 1988, issue of Roll Call, marked yet another turning point in the long career of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).
Here, after 12 years as the Democratic leader in the Senate (six in the majority, six in the minority), Byrd hands the gavel over to newly elected Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. The Maine Senator won a three-way battle for the post after Byrd announced he would not run for the position again. Byrd instead became President Pro Tem, a post he filled until 1995 and again from June 2001 to 2003.
Byrd, the third-longest-serving Member of Congress, is expected to hit another milestone in his career this week — his 17,000th vote. He already holds the record for most votes: He broke the all-time record when he cast his 12,134th vote on April 27, 1990. (See story, page 1.)
Also pictured is Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), who defeated Sen. Wendell Ford (D-Ky.) to retain his post as Majority Whip. Cranston died in 2000.