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Nebraska became the 37th state in the Union on March 1, 1867. Nebraska’s first two senators, Thomas Tipton and John Thayer, took office on March 4, 1867. Nebraska’s longest-serving senators include George Norris (1913-1943) and Carl T. Curtis (1955-1979). Among those who rose to leadership positions in the Senate are Charles F. Manderson, who served as president pro tempore, and Kenneth Wherry, who served as Republican whip and floor leader.