1976 July 12

Barbara Jordan Delivers Keynote Address at Democratic Convention


A consistent defender of civil rights and civil liberties, Barbara Jordan was the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate since Reconstruction, and the first southern African-American woman elected to the U. S. House of Representatives. On this day, she became the first woman and the first African-American to give the keynote address at a Democratic Party convention.

Jordan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, from President Bill Clinton, in August 1994. Jordan died on January 17, 1996.

Read her speech: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barbarajordan1976dnc.html

Read: Mary Beth Rogers, Barbara Jordan: American Hero (2000)

Read an oral history interview with Barbara Jordan: http://www.lbjlibrary.net/collections/oral-histories

Read about the unveiling of the statue of Jordan at the University of Texas:

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