1968 -- Begins his political career as administrative assistant to US Rep. William M. Colmer, a one-time Dixiecrat and staunch segregationist.
1972 -- Elected to the US House of Representatives, taking over Colmer's seat--
with his mentor's blessing--as a Republican.
1978 -- Introduces bill restoring Jefferson Davis' U.S. citizenship.
1980 -- At a rally for Ronald Reagan in Jackson, Miss., Lott praises Thurmond
much as he will 22 years later.
"You know if we had elected this man 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess
we are today."
1981 -- Intervenes at the US Supreme Court to defend the tax-exempt status of
Bob Jones University in South Carolina, under review because the school openly discriminates against any student "engaged in an interracial marriage or known to advocate interracial marriage or dating."
"Racial discrimination does not always violate public policy."
1983 -- Votes against making the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a
"Look at the cost involved in the Martin Luther King holiday and the fact that we
have not done it for a lot of other people that were more deserving."
1984 -- In an interview with Southern Partisan magazine, Lott explains why he
opposed expanding the Voting Rights Act.
"They are still trying to exact Reconstruction legislation that is just not fair."
1984 -- In a speech to the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Biloxi, Mississippi,
Lott sells the Party of Lincoln.
"The spirit of Southern Civil War leader Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984
1988 -- Elected to the US Senate.
1992 -- Delivers a keynote address to the Council of Conservative Citizens, the
successor to the segregationist White Citizens' Councils of the 1960s.
"The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy.
Let's take it in the right direction, and our children will be the beneficiaries."
1996 -- Votes no on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which
would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation. He argues:
"Its goal is not fairness for individuals. Its goal is social revolution.... ENDA is part
of a larger and more audacious effort to make the public accept behavior that most Americans consider dangerous, unhealthy, or just plain wrong."
1997 -- Chosen by Senate Republicans to be Majority Leader.
1997 -- In an interview with Time, Lott acknowledges that he supported
segregation while a student at the University of Mississippi.
"Yes, you could say that I favored segregation then. I don't now... The main thing
was, I felt the federal government had no business sending in troops to tell the state what to do."