Feb 2, 2009 1:19 PM | 0
While we are still in this post-inaugural glow I wanted to follow up on the Brooklyn Daily Eagle article about Oscar De Priest, the African-American congressman from Illinois. In January of 1934 he began his campaign to publicize the ban on African-Americans eating in the House restaurant. He obtained the 145 signatures necessary to force House consideration of his resolution to investigate the ban. This ban was issued by Representative Lindsay Warren of North Carolina who was chairman of the Accounts Committee controlling the restaurant. In June of 1934 the five-man subcommittee split along party lines when they issued their reports. The Democratic majority concluded that there had been no discrimination and recommended that Warren be kept in charge of the restaurant. The two Republican committeemen recommended the opposite - that the ban be abolished at once. The majority in the committee also ruled that the restaurant was a private enterprise and as such Warren was authorized to set its rules and regulations. The practice of segregation in the House restaurant would continue off and on until the late 1950's. Many thank to Terrance Rucker - Historical Writer & Researcher from the Office of History & Preservation in the U.S. House of Representatives for the wonderful articles he sent about De Priest.