Barbara Jordan, Black American congresswoman from Texas, announces that she would not seek reelection.
1977 (Dec 10)
Barbara Jordan, Black American congresswoman from Texas, announced that she would not seek reelection. She denied rumors of poor health and said she would not seek a seat on the federal bench. She did say "the longer you stay in Congress, the harder it is to leave. ... I didn't want to wake up one fine sunny morning and say there is nothing else to do." Jordan had gone to Congress from Houston's eighteenth district in 1972 after serving in the Texas State Senate, where she became president pro tempore (the first Black American to preside over that body). During the impeachment hearings for President Richard Nixon in 1974, Jordan caught the attention of the nation with an eloquent condemnation of the president's involvement in the Watergate burglary scandal and an equally eloquent defense of the Constitution of the United States. At the 1976 Democratic National Convention held in New York City, she "electrified what had previously been a dull gathering, speaking with a precise, clipped delivery."