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Fleeting Wonders: An All-Female Senate

Tuesday morning's Senate crew.

Tuesday morning’s Senate crew. (Screenshot: C-SPAN)

The Senate is normally a divisive place, full of shouting matches, endless filibusters, and the occasional violent caning. But yesterday, in the aftermath of the D.C. blizzard, everyone who showed up in the chamber had at least one thing in common—they were all women.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, pointed this out in her closing statement. ”As we convene this morning,” she said, “you look around the chamber, and the presiding officer [Senator Susan Collins, R-ME] is female. All of our parliamentarians are female. Our floor managers are female. All of our pages are female.”

“This was not orchestrated in any way shape or form,” she added. “We came in this morning and looked around and thought ‘something is different this morning’—different in a good way, I might add.”

“Perhaps it just speaks to the hardiness of women,” Murkowski continued. “You put on your boots and put your hat on and get out, slog through the mess that is out there.” After mentioning she “spent a good portion of my weekend shoveling,” the Alaska senator noted she was “ready to be back at work where it’s a little less rigorous.”

To be fair, there were a couple of guys in the mix over the course of the morning—including Senate Chaplain Barry Black, who opened the session with a prayer to “give our lawmakers the wisdom to seize the opportunities of the myriad seasons.” Clearly everyone took this to heart in their own way.

The Senate reconvenes today at 11 a.m.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.