2011 44¢ Barbara Jordan
Issue Date: September 16, 2011
City: Houston, TX
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
In 1966, Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) made history when she became the first black woman elected to the Texas State Senate. Jordan quickly gained acceptance from her 30 white male colleagues by sponsoring bills for Texas’ first minimum wage laws and antidiscrimination in business contracts.
By 1972, Barbara Jordan was the highest-ranking member of the Texas legislature. That same year, she ran for the U.S. Congress and won by a landslide, capturing 81% of the vote. Two years later, Jordan gained national attention during the Watergate hearings. While giving a statement on the Articles of Impeachment, she said, “I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the destruction of the Constitution.”
A rising figure in American politics, Jordan was chosen to be the keynote speaker at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. The speech, addressing unity and equality, ranked number five in a national survey listing the top 100 speeches of the 20th century.
In 1992, Jordan was again chosen to be the convention’s keynote speaker. Although confined to a wheelchair, Barbara Jordan took the stage and proclaimed, “The American dream is not dead. It is gasping for breath, but it is not dead.”