An Epitaph Is Written

"If the cloture rule is rejected, of course I myself will not only make no further effort to press the [anti-poll tax] bill but will feel myself in honor bound. . . ."

Alben W. Barkley, leader of the U.S. Senate majority, was droning out terms of a humiliating surrender to a handful of Southern Senators. In seven days' filibuster they had tongue-lashed the leader and a majority of the Senate to defeat.

Every Senator knew it was more than surrender; this was the finely chiseled epitaph of a bill to end the poll tax as a means of disfranchising millions...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!