Dingell to Reach Longest-Serving Milestone Earlier Than Expected

Posted February 2, 2009 at 3:55pm

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) will set the record for being the longest-serving House Member in history a few days earlier than previously expected. Dingell will celebrate that milestone on Feb. 11 instead of Feb. 14, after the House Historian’s office revised the date. House Deputy Historian Fred Beuttler said his office took a second look at the numbers “to double-check the math.” “Because it’s such a historic date in the history of the House, we just did a quick double-check and we came up with a disagreement with a previous [Congressional Research Service] report,” Beuttler said. Next week Dingell will surpass former Rep. Jamie Whitten (D-Miss.), who served from Nov. 4, 1941 until Jan. 3, 1995 — a total of 19,419 days. On Feb. 11, Dingell will set the record of 19,420 days in Congress — about 24 percent of the entire history of the legislative body. Beuttler said the three-day margin of error likely was a result of leap years. He added that the House Historian’s office laboriously counted each day served by both Dingell and Whitten before revising the date.