Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 23, 2014

An Inauspicious Civil Rights Anniversary

Thurmond Strom 65 12 08 9702 1 An Inauspicious Civil Rights Anniversary

Thurmond, seen here in a 1965 file photo, launched a filibuster against civil rights legislation on this day in 1957. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While most are recognizing the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, in a bit of a historical irony, today also marks the anniversary of a far less memorable moment in the civil rights debate.

In understanding the struggle for civil rights, it may well be worth recalling that it was on the evening of Aug. 28, 1957, that Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina launched his record-setting filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. All told, he would hold the floor for 24 hours and 18 minutes.

The Senate Historical Office maintains a history of chamber desks, which notes an inscription in Thurmond’s desk from that day.

The Congressional Record from the Senate session featuring the Thurmond filibuster is posted here.

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