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Daily Debunker: The Congressional Slugfest of 1856

Featured on Snopes today: A look back at a time when members of Congress took political incivility to a whole new level, and the real scoop behind the viral "God Bows Down to Trump" sign that everyone's talking about.

Published Feb 18, 2020

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After U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tore up the text of President Trump’s State of the Union address on national television — a gesture one journalist called “the most classless act ever conducted in Congress” — some leapt to her defense with a historical comparison.

In 1856, they pointed out, such was the state of incivility in Congress that Rep. Preston Brooks actually beat a senator “nearly to death” on the Senate floor over the issue of slavery.

Fact or hyperbole? Snopes.com’s Dan MacGuill delves into the history of the infamous attack.

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