Rand Paul, Strom Thurmond, and the country's longest filibuster - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Rand Paul, Strom Thurmond, and the country's longest filibuster

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(AP Photo/Senate Television). This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. (AP Photo/Senate Television). This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Shortly after 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul started talking on the floor of the US Senate. But this time, it was different than just a speech to oppose the nomination of would-be CIA director John Brennan and protest the use of drones on US soil.

He was deploying a tactic that hasn't been seen for several years: the talking filibuster.

While the filibuster has taken on new meaning in the Senate in the last few years, Paul's old-fashioned Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style discussion brought the legislative chamber to a screeching halt for 13 hours.

Paul was eventually joined by senators from both sides of the aisle. They talked about everything from Paul's stance on drones, to tweets from supporters and even passages from Alice in Wonderland.

Believe it or not, Paul's filibuster is not the only talking filibuster in the past few years. The last talking filibuster was concocted by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2010, who talked for 8 1/2 hours to stall a deal that extended the Bush tax cuts for another 2 years.

The Washington Post went further and discovered it was the 9th longest filibuster in history.

Paul's filibuster certainly eclipsed Sanders' speech in terms of length, but the Kentucky senator still doesn't even come close to the record-breaking filibuster from South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Thurmond took to the Senate floor on Aug. 28, 1957 to protest the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He went on for 24 hours and 18 minutes – the longest filibuster in US history.

"There are mainly three reasons why I feel the bill should not be passed. The first is that it is unnecessary," said Thurmond to start off.

So what did Thurmond talk about for over 24 hours? Plenty. The Internet has a lengthy copy of the filibuster in microfilm form.

Thurmond read aloud the voting laws of each of the 48 states. And then he read the country's criminal code. And then he read even more laws.

Thurmond then spoke at length about jury trials. He also read the entire Declaration of Independence.

As the 24 hour mark rolled in, Thurmond began to wrap up. He once again declared that he would not support the bill, and hoped the Senate would eventually kill it.

He also shared a few kind words to the Senate.

"Mr. President, I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude to the officials of the Senate, to those who have come in to listen to this debate, to the various Senators who have listened to this debate from time to time; to the clerks and the attaches, and to all who did everything they could to make me as comfortable as possible during the 24 hours and 22 minutes I have spoken," said Thurmond.

And that was it. The Senate would eventually vote and pass the bill, which is one of the largest overhauls to the nation's voting rights in history.

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