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Lankford, Wicker Leads Resolution Honoring Hiram Revels

02.25.20

Revels Served as First African American Senator

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Roger Wicker, (R-MS) today introduced a resolution honoring former Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels. This month marks 150 years since Revels was sworn-in as a Senator from Mississippi. He was the first African American to serve in Congress. 

“Today, my colleagues and I introduced a resolution honoring the life and legacy of Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi who became the first African American to serve in the United States Congress 150 years ago today,” said Lankford. “Senator Revels broke racial barriers in what remained a widely divided country following the Civil War. Despite this division, Senator Revels was determined to use his position for healing and racial reconciliation during a dark time in our nation’s history. Senator Revels was a man of deep faith, hope, and courage. Today, I urge all of us to take a moment to celebrate and reflect on Senator Revel’s legacy while following his example by striving to solve racial divisions in our own communities.”

“Hiram Revels was an extraordinary Mississippian and American whose legacy extends far beyond breaking the color barrier in Congress,” Wicker said. “He used his platform to fight for equality and reconciliation in a nation divided by race and the Civil War. The broad bipartisan support for this resolution demonstrates the deep respect and appreciation Americans still have for Hiram Revels’s service.”

Revels represented Mississippi in the Senate from February 25, 1870, until March 3, 1871. He served as the first president of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Claiborne County, today’s Alcorn State University. He later taught theology at Shaw University, now known as Rust College. Revels died in 1901 and is buried in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Lankford and Wicker’s resolution honoring Revels has been cosponsored by Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith, (R-MS), Lamar Alexander, (R-TN), Tammy Baldwin, (D-WI), Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN), Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT), Roy Blunt, (R-MO), John Boozman, (R-AR), Mike Braun, (R-IN), Sherrod Brown, (D-OH), Richard Burr, (R-NC), Maria Cantwell, (D-WA), Shelley Moore Capito, (R-WV), Ben Cardin, (D-MD), Bob Casey, (D-PA), Bill Cassidy, (R-LA), Susan Collins, (R-ME), Chris Coons, (D-DE), John Cornyn, (R-TX), Catherine Cortez Masto, (D-NV), Tom Cotton, (R-AR), Mike Crapo, (R-ID), Kevin Cramer, (R-ND), Ted Cruz, (R-TX), Steve Daines, (R-MT), Tammy Duckworth, (D-IL), Dick Durbin, (D-IL), Joni Ernst, R-(IA), Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), Deb Fischer, (R-NE), Cory Gardner, (R-CO), Lindsey Graham, (R-SC), Chuck Grassley, (R-IA), Josh Hawley, (R-MO), Martin Heinrich, (D-NM), James Inhofe, (R-OK), Doug Jones, (D-AL), Ron Johnson, (R-WI), Tim Kaine, (D-VA), Angus King, (I-ME) Amy Klobuchar, D-(MN), Patrick Leahy, (D-VT), Kelly Loeffler, (R-GA), Joe Manchin, (D-WV), Bob Menendez, (D-NJ), Jerry Moran, (R- KS), Rand Paul, (R-KY), David Perdue, (R-GA), Gary Peters, (D-MI), James Risch, (R-ID), Pat Roberts, (R-KS), Mitt Romney, (R-UT), Jacky Rosen, (D-NV), Mike Rounds, (R-SD), Marco Rubio, (R-FL), Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), Ben Sasse, (R-NE), Rick Scott, (R-FL), Tim Scott, (R-SC), Brian Schatz, (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen, (D-NH), Tina Smith, (D-MN), Jon Tester, (D-MT), Thom Tillis, (R-NC), Tom Udall, (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen, (D-MD), Mark Warner, (D-VA), Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI), Ron Wyden, (D-OR), and Todd Young, (R-IN).  

Click here to view a PDF copy of the resolution.

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