February 1938

US and World Events plus Additional Resources


On February 22, 1938, the Senate ended a six-week filibuster on the Wagner-Van Nuys Anti-Lynching Bill, voting 58 to 22 to lay the bill aside.

Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi (D) spoke during the filibuster: “f you succeed in the passage of this bill, you will open the floodgates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousandfold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate.”

Senator Robert Wagner of New York (D), who sponsored the bill with Indiana Senator Frederick Van Nuys (D) agreed to have it shelved so the Senate could turn to approval of the $250 million WPA budget appropriation.