Who saved the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with a powerful speech, delivered minutes before the vote in the Senate?

a. Everett Dirksen

b. Barry Goldwater

c. Ronald Reagan

d. William F. Buckley








3.) Answer: A. Everett Dirksen.

Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen delivered his speech, “The Time Has Come,” on June 10, 1964, just minutes before the U.S. Senate was to vote to shut down Democrats’ filibuster attempt to torpedo the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Dirksen, who was then the Republican Minority Leader, challenged Republicans to live up to the party’s mantle as being “The Party of Lincoln” and to do the right thing, even though Republicans would get zero credit from black voters for stopping Democrats like former Klansman Robert Byrd from defeating the bill.

After Dirksen’s speech, 27 out of 33 Republicans joined with Dirksen in ensuring equality for blacks, even as 22 Democrats voted to keep the filibuster alive, and therefore ensure the bill’s defeat.

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