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Politics 

(part 3)

Governor P.B.S. Pinchback

 

San Francisco Mayor Wilie Brown

 

 

The first Black governor was P.B.S. Pinchback, who became governor of Louisiana on December 9, 1872 on the impeachment of Governor H.C. Warmoth.  Pinchback relinquished the office on January 13, 1873, saying at the inauguration of the new governor:  "I now have the honor to formally surrender the office of governor:  "I now have the honor to formally surrender the office of governor, with the hope that you will administer the government in the interests of all the people (and that) your administration will be as fair toward the class that I represent, as mine has been toward the class represented by you."


The first Black lieutenant governor was Oscar J. Dunn, a former slave, who was formally installed in Louisiana on July 13, 1868.


The first Black lieutenant governors in the 20th century were Mervyn M. Dymally of California and George L. Brown of Colorado, who were both elected on November 5, 1974.


The first Black congressman from the North and the first Black congressman in the modern era was Oscar DePriest, who was elected to the 71st Congress from Illinois' First Congressional District (Chicago) in November, 1928.  He was sworn in on April 15, 1929. 


The first Black state legislators were Edward G. Walker and Charles L. Mitchell, who were elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives from Boston in 1866. 


The first Black named speaker of a state house of representatives was John R. Lynch of Mississippi, who was elected in January, 1872 at the age of 24.


The first Black named speaker of a state house of representatives in the 20th century was Willie L. Brown of California, who was elected on December 1, 1980.


The first Black elected to a state cabinet office was Francis L. Cardozo, who was installed as secretary of state in Columbia, South Carolina, on July 9, 1868.  Four days later, Antoine Dubuclet was inaugurated as treasurer of the state of Louisiana.


The first Black elected to a state cabinet post in the 20th century was Otis M. Smith, who won a statewide contest for auditor in Michigan on November 8, 1960.  Edward W. Brooke won the general election for attorney general of Massachusetts on November 6, 1963.


The first Black mayor is an unknown soldier.  There were several sheriffs and mayors in the South during the Reconstruction period.  One of the first Black mayors was Robert H. Wood, who was elected mayor of Natchez, Miss., in December, 1870.


The first Black mayor of major cities in the 20th century were Carl B. Stokes of Cleveland, Ohio, and Richard G. Hatcher of Gary, Ind., who were elected on November 7, 1967.  Mayor Stokes was inaugurated on November 13 and became the first Black mayor of a major American city.


The first Black mayor of a major Southern city was Maynard Jackson, who was elected in Atlanta on October 16, 1973.

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