Sen. Robert La Follette of Wisconsin might be the father of the marathon filibuster, and in 1908, he proved just how determined a legislator can be when he logged an 18-hour, 23-minute speech from his pulpit on the Senate floor.
La Follette's long address, however, didn't sit well with his colleagues or apparently with the Congressional kitchen staff. At about 1 a.m., La Follette sent a page to fetch a turkey sandwich and eggnog, which the kitchen workers had let sit in the summer heat. After taking a sip from the glass, La Follette knew it didn't taste quite right, but that was enough to force the senator to cede the floor.
According to U.S. Senate history, subsequent tests on the glass revealed that it contained enough toxic bacteria to kill a man.
La Follette gave a repeat performance in 1917 in protest of a bill to arm merchant ships against the Germans, as La Follette had opposed entry of the United States into World War I. This time, it was La Follette's fellow senators who posed a threat, with one senator even packing a pistol during La Follette's filibuster.