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Everett Dirksen Featured on October 11 at Tiskilwa’s Museum on Main

With his gravelly voice, love of oratory, and unkempt hair-do, United States Senator Everett M. Dirksen was an icon of mid-twentieth century politics. Details of the life and legend of this native of Pekin will be the focus of a community program on Monday, October 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the community room of Tiskilwa’s Museum on Main.

The Dirksen Congressional Center’s executive director, Tiffany White, will present photos and stories, detailing how Dirksen rose from humble beginnings in Pekin to the highest levels of governmental influence in the 1950s and 1960s. Many consider his efforts as the Senate’s Republican Minority Leader to assure the bipartisan passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to be Dirksen’s crowning achievement.

Serving in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate for nearly four decades, Dirksen was Minority Leader for ten years, until his death in 1969. His colorful personality made him a Washington favorite on both sides of the aisle and throughout the country. Cautioning that federal spending could get out of control, he is said to have observed, in his folksy way, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

The Dirksen Congressional Center in the senator’s native Pekin is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve civic engagement. Director White explains their mission is to promote a better understanding of Congress and its leaders through research, archival and educational programs.

There is no admission charge for the program, but a free-will offering will be gratefully accepted. In accordance with pandemic safety precautions, we ask that visitors wear facial coverings.


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