Dubbed “the world’s most exclusive club and deliberative body,” the U.S. Senate is packed with white-haired lawmakers, many of whom have served in the chamber for decades.
While Americans generally retire in their mid-60s or so, about half of the 100 senators are 65 years or older.
Byrd made it clear he has no thoughts of leaving anytime soon. “I look forward to serving you for the next 56 years and 320 days,” he said in a statement to mark his historic day.
“I am so deeply grateful to the people of the great state of West Virginia for demonstrating such confidence,” added Byrd, who has been elected to an unprecedented nine full six-year Senate terms.