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Santa and His Senate Elves

In December 1987, three Senators took part in a Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” event in the Rules Committee hearing room. Easily identifiable in the above photo are then-Kentucky Democratic Sen. Wendell Ford (seated on the left) and current Virginia GOP Sen. John Warner (right). But who is that playing Santa Claus? It’s none other than the late Sen. Howell Heflin (D-Ala.), a proponent of civil rights and the military who passed away March 29. He was 83.

Warner isn’t the only Capitol Hill figure in the photo who still works on the Congressional campus. Standing to Warner’s left is Robin Caldwell, who worked for the Virginian then and still does today. Warner is holding her son Austin, then 6 months old.

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