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Pictures | Fri Nov 8, 2019 | 11:10am EST

A look back at 10 notable televised congressional hearings

Public impeachment hearings for U.S. President Donald Trump next week will mark a historical moment in political television both because of the high stakes and how people will watch the proceedings.

The public inquiry into the Ukraine scandal will be the first impeachment hearings of the social, two-screen era, when viewers scroll platforms like Twitter or Facebook while simultaneously watching TV.

Networks expect huge audiences. The Trump inquiry follows seven decades of televised hearings that attracted viewers across the political spectrum.

Here are the highlights:

(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Public impeachment hearings for U.S. President Donald Trump next week will mark a historical moment in political television both because of the high stakes and how people will watch the proceedings. The public inquiry into the Ukraine scandal will...more

Public impeachment hearings for U.S. President Donald Trump next week will mark a historical moment in political television both because of the high stakes and how people will watch the proceedings. The public inquiry into the Ukraine scandal will be the first impeachment hearings of the social, two-screen era, when viewers scroll platforms like Twitter or Facebook while simultaneously watching TV. Networks expect huge audiences. The Trump inquiry follows seven decades of televised hearings that attracted viewers across the political spectrum. Here are the highlights: (Reporting by Helen Coster in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman) REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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1951: Gangsters and Gamblers - In 1951 Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, who chaired the Senate Committee to Investigate Crime and Interstate Commerce, oversaw televised hearings on interstate gambling with testimony from reputed gangsters. An estimated 30 million viewers tuned in. 

Pictured: A courtroom that was the site of the Las Vegas Kefauver hearing and is now The Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada February 13, 2012. 

REUTERS/Steve Marcus

1951: Gangsters and Gamblers - In 1951 Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, who chaired the Senate Committee to Investigate Crime and Interstate Commerce, oversaw televised hearings on interstate gambling with testimony from reputed gangsters. An...more

1951: Gangsters and Gamblers - In 1951 Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, who chaired the Senate Committee to Investigate Crime and Interstate Commerce, oversaw televised hearings on interstate gambling with testimony from reputed gangsters. An estimated 30 million viewers tuned in. Pictured: A courtroom that was the site of the Las Vegas Kefauver hearing and is now The Mob Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
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1973: Watergate - ABC, CBS and NBC rotated daily coverage of the 1973 Watergate hearings, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Public television broadcast all 250 hours of the hearings -- which 71% of Americans watched live, according to Gallup. 

Courtesy The Nixon Library and Museum/Handout via REUTERS

1973: Watergate - ABC, CBS and NBC rotated daily coverage of the 1973 Watergate hearings, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Public television broadcast all 250 hours of the hearings -- which 71% of Americans watched live,...more

1973: Watergate - ABC, CBS and NBC rotated daily coverage of the 1973 Watergate hearings, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Public television broadcast all 250 hours of the hearings -- which 71% of Americans watched live, according to Gallup. Courtesy The Nixon Library and Museum/Handout via REUTERS
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1987: Oliver North and the Iran-Contra affair - Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North's testimony about the illegal sale of weapons to Iran and support of the Contra rebel groups was carried by ABC, NBC and CBS commercial-free. 

Pictured: Members of the Sandinista Army lead away U.S. pilot Eugene Hasenfus, who helped fly weapons shipments to the Contras, after he was shot down during a mission over southeast Nicaragua in October 1986. 

REUTERS/Carlos Duran

1987: Oliver North and the Iran-Contra affair - Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North's testimony about the illegal sale of weapons to Iran and support of the Contra rebel groups was carried by ABC, NBC and CBS commercial-free. Pictured: Members of the...more

1987: Oliver North and the Iran-Contra affair - Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North's testimony about the illegal sale of weapons to Iran and support of the Contra rebel groups was carried by ABC, NBC and CBS commercial-free. Pictured: Members of the Sandinista Army lead away U.S. pilot Eugene Hasenfus, who helped fly weapons shipments to the Contras, after he was shot down during a mission over southeast Nicaragua in October 1986. REUTERS/Carlos Duran
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1991: Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings - An estimated 20 million people watched law professor Anita Hill testify that she was sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas when she worked for him in the 1980s. The Senate confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52 to 48. 

Pictured: Counsel Charles Ogeltree uses a legal pad to cover a microphone as he advises Anita Hill during her testimony October 11, 1991. 

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

1991: Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings - An estimated 20 million people watched law professor Anita Hill testify that she was sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas when she worked for him in the 1980s. The Senate confirmed...more

1991: Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings - An estimated 20 million people watched law professor Anita Hill testify that she was sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas when she worked for him in the 1980s. The Senate confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52 to 48. Pictured: Counsel Charles Ogeltree uses a legal pad to cover a microphone as he advises Anita Hill during her testimony October 11, 1991. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
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1998: President Bill Clinton impeachment vote - The Dec. 19, 1998 House of Representatives vote to impeach President Bill Clinton drew the highest TV ratings of any day that year, according to the New York Times. Nearly 6 million viewers watched on cable networks CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. The Senate later acquitted him. 

REUTERS/Win McNamee

1998: President Bill Clinton impeachment vote - The Dec. 19, 1998 House of Representatives vote to impeach President Bill Clinton drew the highest TV ratings of any day that year, according to the New York Times. Nearly 6 million viewers watched on...more

1998: President Bill Clinton impeachment vote - The Dec. 19, 1998 House of Representatives vote to impeach President Bill Clinton drew the highest TV ratings of any day that year, according to the New York Times. Nearly 6 million viewers watched on cable networks CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. The Senate later acquitted him. REUTERS/Win McNamee
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2015: Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing - On October 22, 2015, 4 million viewers across the three cable news networks watched Republican lawmakers question former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her efforts to secure the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya before the 2012 attacks that killed four Americans. 

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

2015: Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing - On October 22, 2015, 4 million viewers across the three cable news networks watched Republican lawmakers question former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her efforts to secure the American diplomatic...more

2015: Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing - On October 22, 2015, 4 million viewers across the three cable news networks watched Republican lawmakers question former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her efforts to secure the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya before the 2012 attacks that killed four Americans. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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2017: James Comey testimony - About 19.5 million Americans watched Former FBI Director James Comey testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his dealings with Trump. Comey said he believed Trump fired him in an effort to undermine an FBI probe into possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign team and Russia. 

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

2017: James Comey testimony - About 19.5 million Americans watched Former FBI Director James Comey testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his dealings with Trump. Comey said he believed Trump fired him in an effort to undermine an FBI...more

2017: James Comey testimony - About 19.5 million Americans watched Former FBI Director James Comey testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his dealings with Trump. Comey said he believed Trump fired him in an effort to undermine an FBI probe into possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign team and Russia. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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2018: Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings - According to Nielsen, more than 20 million people watched testimony by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault. The Senate later confirmed Kavanaugh by a vote of 50-48. 

REUTERS/Jim Bourg

2018: Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings - According to Nielsen, more than 20 million people watched testimony by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault. The Senate later...more

2018: Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings - According to Nielsen, more than 20 million people watched testimony by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault. The Senate later confirmed Kavanaugh by a vote of 50-48. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
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February 2019: Michael Cohen on his ex-boss - The Feb. 27 testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform averaged 15.8 million TV viewers, according to Nielsen. 

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

February 2019: Michael Cohen on his ex-boss - The Feb. 27 testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform averaged 15.8 million TV viewers, according to Nielsen. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

February 2019: Michael Cohen on his ex-boss - The Feb. 27 testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform averaged 15.8 million TV viewers, according to Nielsen. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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July 2019: Special Counsel Robert Mueller - An average of 13 million Americans watched the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees question Mueller about the Russia investigation, according to Nielsen. 

REUTERS/Leah Millis

July 2019: Special Counsel Robert Mueller - An average of 13 million Americans watched the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees question Mueller about the Russia investigation, according to Nielsen. REUTERS/Leah Millis

July 2019: Special Counsel Robert Mueller - An average of 13 million Americans watched the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees question Mueller about the Russia investigation, according to Nielsen. REUTERS/Leah Millis
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