Byrd Truly the Elder Statesman
Robert C. Byrd, a champion of classical oratory in the Senate and pork barrel spending back home, yesterday became the longest-serving senator in U.S. history.
The West Virginia Democrat marked his 17,327th day in the Senate by visiting his wife's grave and then listening to several colleagues praise his career. Uncharacteristically for a man who has rhapsodized about spring, Mother's Day and countless other topics in the Senate chamber, Byrd left the floor without speaking, struggling to maintain his composure.
"My darling wife, I just wish she had lived to see this day," he told reporters as he left. Erma Ora James Byrd, who died March 25, would have turned 89 yesterday.
Byrd, 88, eclipsed the late Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) in Senate tenure. He long has held the record for the most Senate votes cast, and Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said yesterday that he "has held more leadership positions than any other senator."
comments powered by Disqus
- T. rex fossils arrive at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
- Quote of the Day -- Time Magazine's Top 100 People
- Investigation: The Resegregation of America's Schools
- 5 Explosive Revelations Leaked from Senate Report Exposing CIA Torture
- In Parts of the South, Glorifying Slavery No Longer Pays the Bills
- UC Berkeley professor emeritus Robert Harlan dies at 84
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!