Senate Celebrates Solstice With Seersucker

Whitney Smith is the intern for the CBS News Political Unit in Washington.
(CBS/Allison Davis)
Republicans and Democrats came together this morning to celebrate "Seersucker Day" on the Nation's Capitol. The tradition, started by Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, pays tribute to a fabric favored by many of the nation's leaders.

"The Senate needs to lighten up," said Lott in describing the reason for hosting such an event. This year's Seersucker Day, he noted, falls conveniently on the Summer Solstice, as well as on the date of the Senate's annual ice cream social, to be held later this afternoon in the park outside the Russell Office Building.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) recalled the origins of this unique tradition. After envying Senator Lott's wardrobe on the Senate floor, which often included seersucker suits, Feinstein said she rallied the Senate's female members together for their own seersucker day.

This year's female participants included Senator's Feinstein, Snowe (R-ME), and Collins (D-ME).

When asked whether this light weight fabric was capable of catching on in the North, Senator Lott replied that he saw more Northern and Western Senators get energized about coordinating their ensembles than some of his Southern colleagues. Senator Lott also recalled supporting dress-up days in the Senate for St. Patrick's Day and "Tartan Day," in which the Senator wore a kilt on the Senate floor to celebrate his Scottish heritage.

Senator Lott expressed disappointment at not seeing the Senators from South Carolina and Louisiana -- states where seersucker is a summer apparel favorite -- participate in the day's festivities. But the Senator was pleased to see other members and staffers get into the spirit. What was once Southern is now National, Lott happily explained.