Skip Content
U.S. Flag

Maiden Speech of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

Related Link: Civil Rights Act of 1964

Page one of the Maiden Speech of Senator Ted Kennedy

credit: U.S. Senate Historical Office

In his maiden speech on April 9, 1964, Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy delievered an impassioned plea to pass the Civil Rights Act. He invoked his brother's name, the recently slain president, John F. Kennedy: "My brother was the first President of the United States to state publicly that segregation was morally wrong. His heart and his soul are in this bill. If his life and death had a meaning, it was that we should not hate but love one another; we should use our powers not to create conditions'of oppression that lead to violence, but conditions of freedom that lead to peace. It is in that spirit that I hope the Senate will pass this bill."