Senator James O. Patterson becomes the first Black to win a major party congressional nomination in Tennessee’s history.
1972 (Aug 3-8)
In fall primary elections, state senator James O. Patterson, Jr., was nominated for a congressional seat in the new Fourth Congressional District (Memphis) of Tennessee. Patterson thus became the first Black to win a major party congressional nomination in the state's history. In Georgia, a former aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea Williams of Dekalb County, placed a distant third in the Democratic race for U.S. senator and, in the same state, another former aide to King, Andrew Young of Atlanta, won the Democratic nomination from the Fifth Congressional District. Five Blacks were also elected to the ten-person city council in Selma, Alabama, the scene of violent voting rights demonstrations in the 1960s. This group, elected from predominantly Black wards rather than at-large, were the first of their race to win seats on the local council.