A Merry Centenary Birthday to You
The U.S. Senate’s most senior member is 100 years young today. The man who once played little league with Methuselah’s older brother if finally heading toward the quiet reward of a restful retirement in his hometown of Edgefield, South Carolina. Ol’ Strom has had a colorful career in politics, now spanning over 70 years, that stretched from reform-minded educator to hang-’em-high judge to anti-integregationist Democrat to conscientious conservative Republican to, eventually, racial reconciliator (after a fashion). He’ll be remembered not only for his extraordinary longevity but as a favorite subject for countless morbid Washington jokesters for whom his advancing decrepitude and persistent ass-grabbing were a combination too compelling to resist. This is man, after all, who makes Robert Byrd look vigorous and coherent. A most remarkable individual indeed. So happy birthday, Senator Thurmond. May your next 100 years be filled with as much excitement as your first.