Friday, February 21, 2014

On This Date...Jordan's 78th Birthday

Invitation letter for "Barbara's
Birthday Bash," 1976.  Notice the
handwritten logistics and planning
on the left.
Today marks what would have been Congresswoman Jordan's 78th birthday.  We've found a couple of birthday-related items in the collection.

1976 was an election year, and also marked a milestone for Jordan, her 40th birthday. A "Barbara's Birthday Bash" was organized as a tie-in to Jordan's re-election campaign, and the guest list featured a "who's who" of the Houston political and social circles.  The suggested donation price of $10 a ticket shows how times (and economics) have changed for political campaigns since 1976.

Ticket for "Barbara's Birthday Bash," 1976.  The Imperial
Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency is still there today.

Birthday greetings from President Carter, 1978.
Jordan also received birthday greetings from President Carter on what turned out to be her last birthday as a Member of Congress.

Jordan's birthday gives us pause to reflect on a remarkable life and career. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

On this date...Jordan's Portrait Unveiling

Sepia facsimile of Jordan's
portrait.  The original is
in full color. 
On February 8, 1975, Jordan's portrait was unveiled at the State Capitol in Austin.  Commissioned by the Texas Senate in 1973, the portrait was painted by noted Houston artist Edsel Crammer (who also painted Adelaid de Menil, George W. Bush and Rice University president Malcolm Gills, among other subjects), and the official unveiling and dedication was held in the Senate Chambers, where the portrait still hangs today.
Voice of Hope article, March 29, 1975

Jordan sits for Edsel Cramer, ca. 1974.
Photo by Bill Malone.

Just a fraction of the crowd that gathered at the State
Capitol to attend the unveiling, February 8, 1975.
Photo by Bill Malone.

Jordan and Cramer, State Capitol, Austin, Texas,
February 8, 1975.  Photo by Bill Malone.

A jubilant Jordan takes the podium as (from left)  Texas Senator
 Chet Brooks, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby Jr., Gov. Dolph Briscoe,
and others applaud, February 8, 1975. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Black History Month 2014

February is observed as Black History Month, and this year's theme is "Civil Rights in America."  In the Jordan Archives, we came across a few items connected to Black History Month.  Rep. Ralph Metcalfe of Illinois introduced a House Joint resolution asking for the national recognition of a black history month no less than three times (1976-1978) during Jordan's tenure in Congress, and Jordan was a co-sponsor of the second and third attempts. Below are images of the 1977 resolution and Metcalfe's letter to Jordan asking her to be a cosponsor--Jordan's handwritten consent can be seen on the letter.

Page 1, H.J. Resolution 255 (1977)

Page 2, H.J. Resolution 255
Page 3, H.J. Resolution 255

Letter to Jordan from Rep. Metcalfe, 1977

For more information on Black History Month, please visit the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) at