50 years ago today, Edward Brooke became the first African-American elected to the US Senate. A former Attorney General of Massachusetts, the local Republican won a historic landslide in a Democratic state that had a black population of just 2 percent–and was reelected for a second term. Raised in a Washington, DC middle class family, he enlisted and became an Army officer after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Then, with a law degree from Boston U., he first ran for congress at 29. (1966)
He authored a book in 2006, Bridging the Divide: My Life, before dying at age 95, in 2015.
More Good News on this Date:
- The French Revolutionary government opened the Louvre to the public as a museum (1793)
- Abraham Lincoln was overwhelmingly reelected to his second term as U.S. president, helping to ensure the union between states would survive the current Civil War (1864)
- Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin IV, which became the third-best-selling album ever in the US, and included the widely-acclaimed hit, Stairway to Heaven (1971)
And, on this day in 1933, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled the Civil Works Administration to create jobs for more than 4 million unemployed workers during the Great Depression. The CWA’s workers laid 12 million feet of sewer pipe and built or improved 255,000 miles of roads, 40,000 schools, 3,700 playgrounds, and nearly 1,000 airports (not to mention building 250,000 outhouses still badly needed in rural America.
Also on this day, in 1960, John F. Kennedy, at 43 years-old, won the election for president of the United States. The youngest man ever elected to the office, Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in one of the closest elections of the 20th century–decided by an average of one vote per precinct nationwide. The Navy veteran of WWII was the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize – for his book about eight unsung heroic acts by American patriots. Written in 1955 while Kennedy was a US senator from Massachusetts, Profiles in Courage provided inspiring true accounts of heroes from different junctures in U.S. history and became required reading for Americans. JFK’s high school classmates were not wrong when they voted him Most Likely to Succeed.