The Congress.gov team has received feedback requesting that we add content from prior congresses to the Congressional Record and public law text collections. We are pleased to announce that we have made substantial progress on this request. The Bound Congressional Record collection now goes back to the 82nd Congress (1951-1953) and the full text of public laws now dates back to the 93rd Congress (1973-1975).
This content is not only useful for those who need the full text of public laws and debates of Congress from these periods; it also allows you to pick a historic event and research the congressional reactions to it. For example, you might want to research the congressional reaction to the launch of the first satellite into space in 1957, the Soviet’s satellite known as Sputnik.
I typed in my search, “Sputnik,” into the Congress.gov global search box, selected “Congressional Record” from the drop-down menu, and on the results screen, and used the “Congress” filter to narrow down my results to the 85th Congress (which includes 1957). The first session of the 85th Congress ended in August of 1957, but you will find a variety of reactions to Sputnik when Congress convened for the second session of the 85th Congress in January of 1958.
Below, you will find an excerpt of one reaction from the Extension of Remarks section of the Congressional Record. On January 8, 1958, Rep. Tuck entered Senator Byrd’s December 5, 1957, speech to the National Association of Manufacturers at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel into the Extension of Remarks. Senator Byrd’s speech addressed Sputnik and his opinion on its implications for the United States. You can research other reactions by members of Congress by exploring these search results.
Have you explored the historical collections on Congress.gov? Let us know what you have found in the comments.