Thursday, March 07, 2013

How did Strom Thurmond do it?

If you aren't allowed to pee during a filibuster then how did Strom go 24 hrs 18 mins without peeing?
-- Misty Tienken, March 7, 2013 12:53 AM

During a filibuster, how does one go to the bathroom?
-- Matt Keller, March 6, 2013, 8:37 PM

an aide in the cloakroom with a pitcher, keep one foot on the floor.... and turn around to face the pitcher - that's how Strom Thurmond did it during his 24 hour filibuster.
-- Jeff Quinton March 6, 2013, 8:38 PM

The Business Insider is more detailed:
The longest spoken filibuster in American history was by Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who went on for 24 hours and 18 minutes in filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Thurmond began speaking at 8:54 p.m. on August 28, 1957 and did not stop until 9:12 p.m. on the 29th.
That rhetorical marathon took a lot of preparation, though. Here are some of the details, according to the Associated Press:
  • Thurmond took a steam bath earlier in the day to rid his body of excess liquid. This avoided the potential for any "accidents" in the chamber. 
  • He went to the floor armed with cough drops and malted milk tablets.
  • He allowed others to make short remarks and ask questions during his time, allowing him to sneak off to the cloakroom to gobble a sandwich. 
  • He had his aide wait in the cloakroom with a pail when he was about to step down from the dais in case of an emergency evacuation. 

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