Leading the Democrats was Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), who got into politics as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan.
On this day in 1964, Everett Dirksen (R-IL), the Republican Leader in the U.S. Senate, condemned the Democrats’ 57-day filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Leading the Democrats in their opposition to civil rights for African-Americans was Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). Byrd, who got into politics as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan, spoke against the bill for fourteen straight hours. Democrats still call Robert Byrd “the conscience of the Senate.”
Related: Here's a bit of Americana for you - the 1920's KKK Application Form.In his speech, Senator Dirksen called on the Democrats to end their filibuster and accept racial equality.