Presentation - Senator Everett Dirksen's Humble Upbringing in Pekin, IL, and His National Legacy

Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen was one of if not the most important figure throughout the process of passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  He was a principled, bipartisan leader who had a unique style of accomplishing legislative goals, and his humble life in Pekin–where he was one of five children to a poor and widowed mother–helped shape him into the person he was, and ultimately, had a significant impact on the history of our nation.

Program Topics

  • Politics
  • Civil Rights
  • Illinois

Book this presentation by first scheduling a date with Tiffany via email or by phone at 309.347.7113, then completing the Road Scholars Host Organization application.


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About Road Scholar Tiffany White

Tiffany White currently serves as the Director of the Dirksen Congressional Center, located in Everett McKinley Dirksen’s hometown of Pekin, Illinois. Dirksen served as the Senate minority leader throughout the 1960s, and was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Center’s mission is to enhance the public’s understanding of Congress, its People, and its policies. White has spent the majority of her career in both legislative government and not-for-profit management, having served as a Congressional Staffer in the 18th District of Illinois and as Chief of Staff to former State Representative Mike Unes (R-91).  Personally, she is a lifelong student of political communication, and a champion of principled leadership and civility in public discourse.

Learn More and Follow Tiffany and The Dirksen Center

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About Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau

Since 1997, our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has invited Illinois writers, storytellers, historians, folklorists, musicians, and living history actors, among others, to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout our state. It also supports local nonprofit organizations – including libraries, museums, arts councils, historical societies, civic groups, and many others – in presenting free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities for a modest application fee, which can be waived if your organization is experiencing financial hardship.

Our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster features speakers hailing from many different communities across Illinois who offer presentations on topics in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, theater, film, music, politics, and other subjects that are thought-provoking and engaging. The breadth of these offerings reflects our conviction that the humanities can help us to examine the world in all its varied shades and discover in it the remarkable, the strange, the fantastic, the tragic, the humorous, and the beautiful.

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