Black American congressman Mickey Leland is killed in an airplane crash that was en route to the Fugnido refugee camp in Ethiopia.
1989 (Aug 7)
On August 7, an airplane with Black American congressman Mickey Leland aboard crashed en route to the Fugnido refugee camp in Ethiopia. Six days later, the bodies of Leland and fifteen others were discovered. Other Americans aboard the ill-fated aircraft included Hugh A. Johnson, Jr., a staff member of the U.S. House Select Committee on Hunger, Patrice Y. Johnson, Leland's chief of staff, and Joyce Williams, a member of the staff of California representative Ronald V. Dellums. Leland, age forty-four, represented Texas and served as chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger at the time of his death. He had made six previous trips to Africa to investigate and underscore famine conditions, particularly in war-torn Ethiopia. After the congressman's body was discovered, Thomas S. Foley, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said "there will be a determination on the part of members of the House to work for those goals that Mickey Leland sought to achieve, the alleviation of hunger and suffering here and in Africa and elsewhere in the world."