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Text on Button DIRKSEN
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White text that shrinks in size from left to right on a brown background

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This button is from the 1962 senate campaign of Everett M. Dirksen, a Republican who represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives (1933–1949) and U.S. Senate (1951–1969). Dirksen was born in Pekin, Illinois in 1896. He was known for his support of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1968, and also for being in favor of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He served as Senate Minority Leader from 1959-1969.

Dirksen enrolled in the University of Minnesota Law School, but dropped out to enlist in the U.S. Army in World War I as a private, eventually being promoted to second lieutenant. First elected to Congress in 1932, Dirksen supported many of FDR's New Deal programs. He announced his candidacy for U.S. president in 1943, but received no votes at the 1944 Republican convention. After 10 years as Senate Minority Leader, Dirksen died in 1969. A Senate office building was named after him in 1972.

Catalog ID PO0293