This Day in Black History: Feb. 25, 1870 (2024)

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Hiram Rhodes Revels took oath as the first African-American to serve in the senate on Feb. 25, 1870.

This Day in Black History: Feb. 25, 1870 (1)

By Natelege Whaley

February 25, 2013 / 8:00 AM

(Photo: Courtesy wikicommons)

Hiram Rhodes Revels broke a color barrier in U.S. government when he became the first African-American senator on Feb. 25, 1870. Revels moved to Mississippi after the Civil War and was elected to one of the state's vacant U.S. Senate seats before they rejoined the Union.

Revels' credentials were not welcomed at first by some members of the Senate. They falsely claimed he had not been a citizen for the nine years required of all senators, and that Blacks were granted citizenship only four years earlier through the 1866 Civil Rights Act. But Revels was born to freed Blacks and was a registered voter in Ohio, many years before.

Revels also spoke out against a provision in legislation re-admitting Georgia to the Union, which would block Blacks from taking office in the state.

Revels' term ended on March 3, 1871. He went on to be president of Alcorn College in Mississippi.

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This Day in Black History: Feb. 25, 1870 (2024)

FAQs

This Day in Black History: Feb. 25, 1870? ›

Senator Hiram Revels

Hiram Revels
Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first African American senator in 1870. Born in North Carolina in 1827, Revels attended Knox College in Illinois and later served as minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
https://www.senate.gov › FeaturedBios › Featured_Bio_Revels
of Mississippi was the first African American member of the United States Senate. He took the oath of office on February 25, 1870. Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi was the first African American member of the United States Senate.

What happened on this day in black history February 25? ›

On this day in 1948, Martin Luther King was ordained as a Baptist minister. On this day in 1964, 22-year-old underdog Cassius Clay, the future Muhammad Ali, defeated champion Sonny Liston by technical knockout to win the world heavyweight boxing crown in Miami Florida. Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc.

Who was the first black senator elected in February 1870? ›

Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first African American senator in 1870. Born in North Carolina in 1827, Revels attended Knox College in Illinois and later served as minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

Who in 1870 this person was the first black to serve in the US House of Representatives? ›

In 1870, Joseph Rainey of South Carolina was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first directly elected black member of Congress to be seated.

What is a black history fact Feb 26? ›

26, 1869: 15th Amendment Passes, Granting Black Men the Right to Vote.

What happened on February 25th in history? ›

This Day in History: February 25

On this day in 1986, Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, under pressure from the United States, fled his country for Hawaii after a fraudulent electoral victory over Corazon Aquino, who replaced him as president.

Who was the first black woman senator? ›

In 1993 Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois became the first African American woman to be elected to the Senate. To date, 11 African Americans have served as U.S. senators.

Who is the only black U.S. senator? ›

List of African-American U.S. senators
SenatorStateTenure
End
Kamala Harris (born 1964)CaliforniaJanuary 18, 2021
Raphael Warnock (born 1969)GeorgiaIncumbent
Laphonza Butler (born 1979)CaliforniaIncumbent
33 more rows

Who was the first black man in the government? ›

A freeman his entire life, Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress. With his moderate political orientation and oratorical skills honed from years as a preacher, Revels filled a vacant seat in the United States Senate in 1870.

Who was the first black American to be invited to the White House? ›

On October 16, 1901, shortly after moving into the White House, President Theodore Roosevelt invited his adviser, the African American spokesman Booker T. Washington, to dine with him and his family. The event provoked an outpouring of condemnation from white politicians and press in the American South.

Has there ever been a black speaker? ›

In May 1874, Rainey became the first African American to preside over the House of Representatives as Speaker pro tempore. In the closing hours of Congress in 1878, Rainey was one of the few sober members present.

Who was the first African American to appear on a U.S. postage stamp? ›

The first U.S. stamp to honor an African American was the ten-cent Booker T. Washington stamp, issued in 1940. In 1978, the Postal Service initiated the Black Heritage stamp series, to recognize the achievements of individual African Americans.

What happened on February 27 in black history? ›

On this day in 1872, Charlotte E. Ray became the first African-America woman to graduate from the Howard University School of Law. She would go on to become the first female admitted to the District of Columbia Bar.

Who named February Black History Month? ›

Carter G. Woodson was a scholar whose dedication to celebrating the historic contributions of Black people led to the establishment of Black History Month, marked every February since 1976.

What happened on Feb 15 day in black history? ›

On this day in 1851, Black abolitionists invaded a Boston courtroom and rescued the fugitive slave, Shadrach Minkins. Minkins fled to Canada and, with other African-American expatriates in Montreal, would go on to create the city's first Black community there.

What happened on January 25th in black history? ›

On Jan. 25, 1972, Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress, opened her historic campaign for U.S. President in Brooklyn, New York.

What happened on this day in black history on March 25? ›

On March 25, 1931, nine African American teenagers were accused of raping two white women aboard a Southern Railroad freight train in northern Alabama.

What happened on this day in black history April 25? ›

April 25, 1945- The United Nations is founded at San Francisco meeting attended by Black American consultants, including W.E.B. DuBois, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ralph J. Bunche, and Walter White.

What happened on this day in black history july 25? ›

On July 25, 1972, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiment came to light as The Associated Press reported that for the previous four decades, the U.S. Public Health Service, in conjunction with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, had been allowing poor, rural Black male patients with syphilis to go without treatment, ...

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