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Barbara Charline Jordan experienced many firsts in her career and life.
She was the first African-American woman to be elected to the Texas Senate since Reconstruction, the first southern black female to be elected to the United States House of Representatives, and the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.
Jordan retired from politics in 1979 and became an adjunct professor teaching ethics at the University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B.
Johnson School of Public Affairs, until her death in 1996.
She also became the first black woman to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
She is best remembered for her defense of the Constitution during the impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
The site is just about ready for launch and we couldn’t be more excited.Born February 21, 1936, in Houston, Texas, Jordan was a lawyer, educator, politician and a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Her father, Benjamin Jordan, was a Baptist preacher who moonlighted as a warehouse clerk, and her mother, Arlyne Patten Jordan, was a maid, housewife and teacher in the church.Barbara Jordan was encouraged from a young age by her parents to strive for academic excellence, which she did.Her impeachment speech helped lead to Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal and won Jordan national acclaim for her rhetoric, intellect, and integrity.
In 1976 she, went on to become the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.Creating history yet again, in 1972, she became the first African-American female to be voted to serve as president pro tem of the state senate and served one day, June 10, 1972, as acting governor of Texas.