Everett McKinley Dirksen, a senator from Illinois, was Republican leader of the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1969. Prior to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1933 to 1940, he practiced law in his home town of Pekin, IL. He was elected to the senate in 1950. Despite his conservatism, Dirksen supported Lyndon B. Johnson's civil rights legislation of the 1960s. His endorsement was crucial to its final enactment. He also supported the nuclear test ban treaty of 1963.