Strom Thurmond Filibustered WIth A Urine Bucket

March 7th, 2013


Thurmond decided to fight on alone, and to prepare himself, he took steam baths every day to dehydrate his body so it could absorb fluids without his having to leave the Senate chamber for the bathroom. On the day he was scheduled to start speaking at 9 p.m., he took another steam and told his staff to get ready. He was going to discuss provisions requiring trial by jury. (Civil rights advocates didn’t like this, because Southern juries were practically all white.) Thurmond began speaking at 8:54 p.m. and didn’t quit until 9:12 the next evening. It was the longest filibuster in Senate history.

Aides tried to avoid defeat by the toilet by setting up a bucket in the cloakroom where Thurmond could pee, keeping one foot on the Senate floor while doing so. The filibuster did him no good. Southerners did not spring to his aide, and his distant cousin¬†Senator Herman Talmadge¬†from Georgia accused Thurmond of “grandstanding.” The legislation passed.

What about Senator Rand Paul? Depends.