A Tribute to Barbara Jordan


Congresswoman - Educator - Constitutionalist

Barbara Jordan (1979)
"Mr. Chairman, I join my colleague Mr. Rangel in thanking you for giving the junior members of this committee the glorious opportunity of sharing the pain of this inquiry. Mr. Chairman, you are a strong man, and it has not been easy but we have tried as best we can to give you as much assistance as possible.
"Earlier today we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, We the people. It is a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed, on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that We, the people. I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision I have finally been included in We, the people.
"Today I am an inquisitor. I believe hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the solemness that I feel right now. My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution."

-Opening of Barbara Jordan's address to the Judiciary Committee considering impeachment of then President Richard Nixon.

This led to Barbara Jordan's Keynote Speech at the 1976 Democratic National Convention.

More About Barbara Jordan

Tribute to the Late Honorable Barbara Jordan, Delivered to the US Senate by Senator Barbara Boxer (CA), January 22, 1996.

Tribute to the Late Honorable Barbara Jordan, Delivered to the US House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jackson-Lee (TX), January 24, 1996.

Barbara Jordan Remembered. An excellent collection of news stories, essays, and related information compiled by Donald Perkins in her home state.

Photo credits: Alex Gotfryd from the biography Barbara Jordan A Self-Portrait by Barbara Jordan and Shelby Hearon. Scanned using Adobe Photoshop 3.0

Opening statement of the Judiciary Hearings from William Safire's book Lend Me Your Ears

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