WASHINGTON, D.C. –Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Whip James E. Clyburn introduced a House Resolution today recognizing the 150th anniversary of Joseph Rainey’s swearing in as the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The resolution honors Congressman Rainey’s place in history and his remarkable service during Reconstruction by naming the former House Committee on Indian Affairs room in the Capitol in his honor. Congressman Rainey would have met in this room when he served on the Committee in 1873-1875. The future Joseph H. Rainey Room, H-150, is on the first floor of the Capitol near the recently-opened exhibit commemorating this important anniversary.
“As Speaker, I am honored to join Whip Jim Clyburn to introduce this resolution, which will ensure that Congressman Joseph Rainey takes his rightful place in the United States Capitol and in our nation’s history books,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “One hundred and fifty years after his swearing-in, Congressman Rainey remains one of the greatest heroes in House history. This room will help ensure that the full story of American history is told in the halls of the Capitol, and in doing so, will inspire Americans to build the better, more just future for which Joseph Rainey fought.”
“I thank the House leadership for honoring Joseph Rainey in this manner. This room will serve a permanent reminder of his historic life and career,” said Whip James E. Clyburn. “As the first African American to represent South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1897, I know the difficultly of his journey to reach these hallowed halls. I am in awe of Joseph Rainey’s service and sacrifice, and I am proud to see his legacy celebrated today.”
The resolution is expected to be taken up by the House tomorrow. December 12th marks the 150th anniversary of Joseph Rainey officially taking office.
More information about Joseph Rainey can be found here.