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Historical Highlights

The First Session of the 73rd Congress Came to a Close

June 15, 1933–June 16, 1933
The First Session of the 73rd Congress Came to a Close Image courtesy of the FDR Presidential Library President Roosevelt (seen here with chairman of Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Sam Rayburn of Texas) signed 15 pieces of major legislation during the special congressional session.
On this date, early in the morning, the first session of the 73rd Congress came to a close—although, technically it was still the legislative day of June 15th. Later dubbed “The Hundred Days,” the session (which began on March 9, 1933) focused on the deepening economic emergency spawned by the Great Depression. As one of the most dramatic legislative episodes in congressional history, more than a dozen major bills—including the Civilian Conservation Corps, Agricultural Adjustment Act, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Public Works Administration—that constituted the core of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal reform package were passed into law. Many citizens stricken by economic deprivation welcomed the federal programs and jobs created by these acts of Congress; some, however, feared that in the rush for economic solutions, Congress had ceded too much authority to the President. In a closing message to the Democratically-controlled House, Roosevelt thanked Speaker Henry T. Rainey of Illinois for the “spirit of teamwork.” Such cooperation, Roosevelt noted, took “cognizance of a crisis in the affairs of our Nation and of the world. . . . It has proved that our form of government can rise to an emergency and can carry through a broad program in record time.”

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