Today: The Poll Tax Peril

The U.S. Senate staged a stately little theatrical as rigid and rehearsed as a minuet. Designed to impress 1944 voters, the production played five matinees to half-filled galleries.

Solemnly stepping through their paces, the Senators first received the House-passed Marcantonio bill, which would outlaw the poll tax in eight Southern states. On cue, bombastic old Tom Connally rose up to shake his grey-white mane and speak his piece about States' rights. "Because my own State of Texas does not conduct its affairs as the State of New York thinks it should conduct them," he declaimed, "these crusaders, these Sir Galahads, mount...

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