Barbara Jordan’s Stamp on History

Former U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas now has her own postage stamp. It’s the 34th in the post office’s Black Heritage series.

A large poster featuring a stamp of Barbara Jordan is on display during First-Day-of-Issue Ceremony for the Barbara Jordan commemorative stamp at Texas Southern University in Houston.

Jordan served three terms in Congress from a Houston district after breaking barriers in Texas politics.

As Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders wrote: “She had such a long list of firsts that she often was referred to as ‘the first black woman everything.’

When she was elected to the Texas Senate in 1966, she was the first African-American to serve in that body since 1883, and the first black woman to be seated in that old boys’ club. She was the first black woman from the South to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and she was the first black woman to deliver a keynote address at a national political convention,” Sanders wrote.

Students from Wallipp Preparatory Academy examine photos of Jordan during the ceremony.

As a freshman House member, Jordan came to national attention on the 37-member House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings for President Richard Nixon. Jordan’s thunderous speech denouncing Nixon’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation was broadcast nationally July 25, 1974.

“My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total,” she declared in her unforgettable voice, “and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.”

The Barbara Jordan stamp is unveiled.

One of Jordan’s last major addresses was at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York, where she was one of three keynote speakers. In 1994, President Bill Clinton presented her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Born in Houston’s 5th Ward on Feb. 21, 1936, she died in a Houston hospital on Jan. 17, 1996.

The new forever stamp was issued in Houston and is on sale nationwide.

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