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A Timeline of the CBC's History

9/11/2013, 3 p.m.

1969—The number of black Americans in Congress had doubled from five during the 90th Congress (1967-1969) to ten during the 91st Congress (1969-1971).

1969—Congressman Charles Diggs, Jr. (D-MI) proposed forming the Democratic Select Committee (DSC).

1970—The DSC requests a conference with President Richard Nixon, but is denied.

1971—The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is founded during the 92nd Congress (1971-1973). Founding members include Representatives Shirley A. Chisholm, William L. Clay, George W. Collins, John Conyers, Jr., Ronald V. Dellums, Charles C. Diggs, Jr., Augustus F. Hawkins, Ralph Metcalfe, Parren J. Mitchell, Robert N.C. Nix, Charles B. Rangel, Louis Stokes, and Washington D.C. delegate Walter E. Fauntroy.

1971—The CBC boycotted President Nixon’s State of the Union Address.

March 1971—President Nixon agreed to a meeting with the CBC.

July 1971—The CBC began sponsoring national conferences on areas such as health, education, business, media and politics.

June 1972—The CBC delivered the preparation of the Black Declaration of Independence and Black Bill of Rights in Congress.

1976—The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation was established. The CBCF sponsors programs under the leadership of some CBC members and other supporters. These initiatives focus on education, economic development, public health and African globalization programs.

1976—The CBC Legislative Internship Program beganto address the under-representation of black professional staff on Capitol Hill. This program provides fellowships to black graduate students to equip them with the necessary training to pursue a career in public policy. September 1978—CBC members meet with President Jimmy Carter to discuss the Humphrey-Hawkins Bill (H.R. 50), which established the federal government’s responsibility to ensure full employment. When it was signed into law in October 1978, Carter credited the CBC for its role in the advocacy for this bill.

1981—The CBC achieved LSO (Legislative Service Organization) status. The House Committee on Administration prohibited LSO's from receiving outside funding, but they were allowed to establish tax exempt foundations to carry out research and other activities.

March 18, 1981—The CBC unveils the "Constructive Alternative Budget Proposal Initiative" in response to Reagan's budget for the 1982 fiscal year at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The CBC's alternative budget distinguishes it from all other caucuses.

1982—Congress extended Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for twenty-five years.

1983— The Congressional Black Caucus and Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) and the Congressional Black Caucus entered into an agreement establishing the CBC Archives at MSRC.

1983—The CBCF split the Legislative Internship Program into the Congressional Internship Program – a summer internship program for undergraduate students – and the Congressional Fellowship Program – a nine-month program for graduate students and young professionals.

November 3, 1983—President Ronald Reagan signed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday into law.

1985—Congressman William Gray (D-PA), chairman of the Committee on Budget, introduced H.R. 1460, a bill that prohibited loans and new investment in South Africa and enforced sanctions on imports and exports with the nation.

October 1986—Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (H.R. 4868) became public law 99-440. This legislation called for sanctions against South Africa and stated preconditions for lifting the sanctions, including the release of all political prisoners. (Among these political prisoners was Nelson Mandela.) President Ronald Reagan attempted to veto the bill but was overridden. The override marked the first time in the 20th century that a president had a foreign policy veto overridden.