Flashback Friday: On This Day In 1966, Mass. GOP Backs Ed Brooke For Senate : It's All Politics On this day in 1966, Edward Brooke takes the first step on his way to becoming the Senate's first black member since Reconstruction, winning the endorsement of the Massachusetts GOP at its convention.
NPR logo Flashback Friday: On This Day In 1966, Mass. GOP Backs Ed Brooke For Senate

Flashback Friday: On This Day In 1966, Mass. GOP Backs Ed Brooke For Senate

June 25, 1966:

Ed Brooke button

At their state convention in Boston, Massachusetts Republicans endorse state Attorney General Edward Brooke as their candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by GOP incumbent Leverett Saltonstall.  In winning the endorsement, Brooke defeats conservative activist Alan MacKay, who says that Brooke is a liberal who betrayed his party when he refused to back Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Goldwater, meanwhile, announced his support for Brooke in May.

Democrats are likely to nominate former Gov. Endicott Peabody for the Senate in the September primary.  He faces a challenge from Boston Mayor John Collins.

Brooke will easily defeat Peabody for the seat in November, becoming the first black elected to the Senate since Reconstruction.

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