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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Naming Of Senate Historian Betty Koed As Historian Emerita Upon Her Retirement From The Senate

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding Betty Koed, the first woman to hold the position of Senate Historian, leaving after eight years and her designation as Historian Emerita. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

An old quote goes: “To study history means submitting yourself to chaos, but nevertheless retaining your faith in order and meaning.” That’s a great quote, very relevant today in this Congress.

I don’t imagine that the author of that line was thinking about the U.S. Senate, but I cannot think of a more apt description of the duties of the Senate Historian.

And for the last eight years, the Senate has been blessed with a wonderful, erudite Historian: Betty Koed, only the third Historian ever and the first woman to hold the position.

Sadly, this week marks the end of Betty’s remarkable tenure in the Senate, which dates back to her earliest days as Assistant Historian in 1998. So, she began in the Senate Historical Office in the same year I began running for the Senate. I didn’t know her at that point, but I’m sure glad I’ve gotten to know her now.

It’s a great undertaking to chronicle the history of an institution so unique, so rich with significant events, so influential in the landscape of our nation. But for the last 25 years, Betty has done that with the utmost professionalism and devotion, and a bit of a flair. Every week she gives us a little history lesson at our Tuesday luncheons, and every member looks forward to hearing what she has come up with and it’s amazing. We learn a lot and we enjoy it.

As Senate Historian, Betty was tasked with an extraordinary responsibility: to preserve, protect, and promote the history of the Senate and the multitudes of members who served in this chamber.

And she has not only been a student of Senate history, but a teacher of it as well. Thanks to her work developing education programs and exhibits, generations of Americans will have the means to learn about the Senate and the U.S. Capitol.

I was proud to lead a resolution with Leader McConnell and all other 98 Senators commemorating Betty’s decades of service and officially designating her, congratulations Betty, as Historian Emerita of the United States Senate.

So, on behalf of a grateful Senate, a grateful country, and a very grateful Majority Leader, I thank Betty for her service and wish her the best moving forward.

Congratulations, Historian Emerita.