September 17, 2003


The first session of the U.S. Senate took place from April 23 to May 14, 1789. Almost the entire meeting was preoccupied with what to call the President.

Vice-president John Adams insisted that the title should include specific words of dignity so as to keep the president of the nation from being mistaken as president of a "fire company or perhaps a cricket club." Adams wished to call the president "His Highness the President of the United States and Protector of the Rights of the Same."

The Senate finally agreed on the title "His Highness," borrowed from the English Parliament's term of address for the king. The House of Representatives opted for "The President of the United States." This simpler title was soon supported by everyone.

Senators also wanted to have themselves called "The Honorable" but the House balked at this as well. However, both the House and Senate supposedly agreed to secretly call the overweight vice-president "His Rotundity."

Posted by Jennifer at September 17, 2003 03:35 AM