On Saturday, the Texas Democratic Party will be holding our 6th annual Johnson-Jordan Dinner, where we will celebrate the inspirational and guiding legacies of President Lyndon Johnson and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.
Though we honor these two extraordinary Texans, how much do you know about these trailblazers? We’ve compiled a list of facts for you below — and don’t forget to RSVP to our dinner!
Barbara Jordan was the was the first black woman elected to the Texas state Senate and the first black Texan in Congress.
Hailing from Houston’s Fifth Ward, Jordan was a groundbreaking African American politician. After graduating from Texas Southern University in 1956, Jordan continued her studies at Boston University Law School, where she was one of the few black students in the program.
In fact, Jordan was a woman of many firsts.
Not only was she was the first black woman to be elected to the Texas Senate and the first southern black woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives, she was the first African-American woman to deliver an address at the Democratic National Convention and the first African American to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
Lyndon B. Johnson played a huge role in American civil rights.
Many of the programs he championed — Medicare, Head Start, the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act — had a profound and lasting impact in health, education and civil rights. These are programs that still have a huge impact on Americans today.
LBJ's initiatives for the arts, environment, poverty, racial justice and for workplace safety angered many economic and social conservatives.
His programs kept — and keep — many Americans out of poverty, provided basic health care, and ensured the fundamental rights of citizenship for minorities.
Jordan began her own law practice — inside of her parent's home.
When Jordan returned to Texas after finishing law school in 1956, law practices refused to offer her a position because of her race — but that didn’t stop her. Instead, she began her own practice at the kitchen table of her parent’s home.
Johnson became the first member of Congress to volunteer for active duty in the military when the United States entered World War II.
Johnson reported for active duty in December 1941 and served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander until all members of Congress in the military were recalled to Washington in the summer of 1942.
LBJ was both the youngest majority and minority leader in U.S. Senate history.
In a close and controversial election, Johnson was elected a U.S. Senator from Texas in 1948. He advanced quickly and became the youngest minority leader in Senate history in 1953. Democrats won control of the Senate the following year, and Johnson was elected majority leader.
Jordan retired after three terms in Congress to become a professor and policy advocate.
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas offered her a position to teach ethics. She continued to teach for 17 years before she died in 1996 after suffering for years from multiple sclerosis and leukemia.
Jordan received extensive support from President Johnson during her political career.
This support would prove beneficial, as it helped her secure a position on the House Judiciary Committee. She gave the influential opening speech of Richard Nixon’s 1974 impeachment hearings.
It's because of their contributions that we honor Lyndon B. Johnson and Barbara Jordan every year.
The Johnson-Jordan Dinner is the Texas Democratic Party’s biggest fundraising event of the year and honors President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan – two Texans who worked tirelessly to advance America’s promise of equality for all.
We hope to see you there on Saturday, October 5, 2019 with keynote speaker DNC Chair Tom Perez.