Oscar De Priest is elected to Congress in Illinois.
1928 (Nov 6)
Illinois elected Oscar De Priest to serve in Congress. De Priest, the son of formerly enslaved parents, was born in Alabama shortly after the Civil War. He was reared in Kansas, where he worked as a painter, but after moving to Chicago he became involved in real estate and politics, becoming Chicago's first Black alderman. De Priest's activities with Republican ward politics was soon rewarded by local politicians with his nomination for Congress in 1928. When he first assumed office, some Blacks considered him an unscrupulous politician and an accommodationist on racial matters. But by the end of three terms in office he had won a reputation for outspoken militancy. De Priest was the first Black from a non-Southern state to sit in Congress and the only Black person to serve in that body since George White's departure in 1901.