The Congress: The Final Vote

On June 19, 1963, President John Kennedy sent to Congress a civil rights bill, urged its speedy passage "not merely for reasons of economic efficiency, world diplomacy or domestic tranquillity, but above all because it is right." Last week, a year later to the very day, the U.S. Senate by a vote of 73-27 passed that bill—considerably changed and strengthened.

The bill's opponents died hard. They brought up amendment after amendment, not in any expectation that the changes would be adopted, but rather as a time-consuming effort to delay the moment of truth....

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