Byrd Truly the Elder Statesman
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
- The Memorial Where Slavery Is Real
- Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece
- Greek ‘No’ May Have Its Roots in Heroic Myths and Real Resistance
- 150 years later, schools are still a battlefield for interpreting Civil War
- Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?
- Historian: "I don’t want my students to simply choose sides in a polemic between heritage and hate"
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.