On August 28, 1957 at 8:54 PM, United States Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina rose to address the United States Senate. Twenty-four hours and eighteen minutes alter, at 9:12 PM on August 29, the Senator relinquished the floor. He had just completed the longest filibuster in US history. Senator Thurmond’s filibuster was an attempt to stop the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 that was the bill being considered on that date. So what does someone talk about for over 24 hours? Here is a sample of what Senator Thurmond spoke about.
- Thurmond read the voting laws of all 48 states (at the time) in their entirety.
- Thurmond read the entire United States Criminal Code.
- Thurmond read the Declaration of Independence.
At the end of his filibuster, Thurmond encouraged his colleagues to vote against the bill. His filibuster did not have the hoped-for impact. His long-winded opposition failed to chance a single vote and the Senate passed the bill.