Skip to contents
Senators Week

The Senate Highlight Of The Day Is Robert Byrd Getting So Mad About Dogfighting

Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images

In July of 2007, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was, like a lot of people in the country, fired up about dogfighting. That’s because just a few months prior a dogfighting ring connected to NFL star Michael Vick had been uncovered, and the news had whipped up something of an hysteria across the country.

Byrd, who was 89 years old at the time of his rant, spoke for 25 minutes, and at one point just shouted the word, “Barbaric!” several times in a row.

Byrd spent 51 years in office, from 1959 until his death in 2010 at the age of 92. A lifelong Democrat, he filibustered the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and in the 1940s he helped found a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Sophia, West Va. He is one of eight known KKK members to have ever served in the United States Senate. He later said that joining the KKK was one of the biggest mistakes of his life, and in 2008 he endorsed Barack Obama for president. Weird country!