New state senator Henry B. Gonzalez and colleague Chick Kazen of Laredo joined forces on May 2, 1959 to filibuster a pro-segregation bill. Kazen spoke for 15 hours and the freshman talked for 21 hours and two minutes.
Four years later, Gonzalez won a special election for a vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was reelected to 19 full terms becoming a high-profile and often controversial fixture in Congress. Gonzalez left office due to ill health in 1999 and died the next year at age 84.