WASHINGTON, March 4, 1913 (UP) -- Laughter and tears today marked the passage of the sixty-second congress. Humor and pathos, congratulations and condolences, were the final scenes closing the old congress.
Noon was the hour set for the "death" of the present congress, but clocks were set back to complete necessary business before the inaugural of President Wilson and Vice President Marshall.
As usual, the senate was the center of attraction, because of the first appearances there of the two new executives and the retiring one, President Taft.
The last stand of the "old guard" furnished the political tragedy for the great civic drama. In the senate and house scores of old political war horses grazed with tear-dimmed eyes for probably the last time upon the adjournment scenes.
Hundreds of America flags were waved, while the members sang patriotic songs and made speeches. "Uncle Joe" Cannon was the special object of much attention, ending his long years of public life.
Lingering handclasps and "godspeed" were given to the retiring members. Partisan lines were wiped out in the expressions of personal friendship.
The sixty-second congress when it closed today had been in almost continuous session since early in the summer of 1911.
Principal accomplishments of the sixty-second congress included:
Abrogation of the Russian passport treaty.
Admission of New Mexico and Arizona to statehood.
Ouster of Senator William Lorimar of Illinois.
Impeachment of Commerce Court Judge Robert W. Archbald.
Establishment of the parcel post.
Enactment of the Panama Canal bill.
Investigations of the steel, beef, money, and shipping trusts.
Enactment of the Sherwood $1-a-day pension bill.
During the first session in 1911, President Taft vetoed bills to revise the wool, cotton, and steel tariffs, and a bill to put agricultural machinery on the free list.
The second session was devoted almost entirely to tariff, six bills passing the house and two by the senate. The latter, revising duties on wool and cotton manufacturers, were vetoed. Attempts to pass them over the vetoes failed.
Little was accomplished during the last session except passage of the appropriation bills. The resolution of Senator Works, limiting tenure of presidents to a single term of six years, passed the senate, but "died" in the house.
The principal public enactments of the first session of the last congress were:
Canadian reciprocity treaty.
Increase of representation in the house from 393 to 435.
Publicity of campaign contributions.
Vetoes of wool, cotton, steel and free farm machinery tariff bills.
In the second session the principal legislation was:
Establishment of the child labor bureau.
Prohibiting manufacture of white phosphorus matches.
Sherwood pension law.
Prohibiting interstate commerce in prize fight moving picture films.
Establishing commission on industrial relations.
Granting medal to Capt. Arthur H. Rostron of steamship Carpathia for services rescuing Titanic survivors.
Declaring "vacant" the senate seat of William Lorimer.
Steel, money, shipping and beef trust investigations and Clapp committee's campaign contributions inquiry.
Since December, however, the house refused to authorize purchase of Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello by the government; passed the Adamson railroad physical valuation bill, the Webb bill limiting interstate's shipment of liquor and the Burnett immigration bill. The latter and the Webb bill were also passed by the senate. Canvass of the electoral vote and memorial services for former Vice President Sherman were also features of this winter's session.
Among the prominent representatives retiring from public life today were the following republicans: Former Speaker Cannon and Representative McKinley, Prince and Rodenberg of Illinois; Hill and Higgins of Connecticut; Crumpacker of Indiana; Gardner and McCall of Massachusetts; Longworth of Ohio; Dalzell of Pennsylvania; and Victor Berger of Wisconsin, the lone socialist.
The next house, with increased membership, will have 435 members, 291 democrats and 144 republicans and progressives.