Nation: Friendly Filibuster

The U.S. Senate had resigned itself to a few more days of filibuster when suddenly there came a stillness—and then it was all over before anyone could say Appomattox. By a vote of 77-16, the Senate approved a constitutional amendment to abolish the poll tax for voting in federal elections.

Of eleven states that put the poll tax on the books around the turn of the century, only five retain it—Alabama, Arkansas. Mississippi, Virginia and Texas.

Arguing against the amendment, Southern Democrats knew from the start that their cause was hopeless, yet they were...

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