Press contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Public contact: Center for the Book, (202) 707-5221

February 8, 2001

MEDIA ADVISORY

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson to Deliver African American History Month Keynote Address

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) will deliver the keynote address for the Library's observance of National African American History Month, at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The program is free and open to the public.

Andre C. Whisenton, director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints Office and the Affirmative Action and Special Programs Office, said, "The Library is very honored to have the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Eddie B. Johnson, as this year's National African American History Month speaker. Looking over her biography and following her career, she epitomizes our theme, 'Creating and Defining the African American Community: Family, Church, Politics, and Culture.'"

Rep. Johnson was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972 and became the first woman in Texas history to lead a major Texas House committee, the Labor Committee.

As an advocate for workers, children, and families, she was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as regional director of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1977. In 1986, she was elected a Texas state senator, becoming the first African American female from the Dallas area to hold this office since Reconstruction.

Rep. Johnson is now in her fourth term representing the 30th Congressional District of Texas. She is the ranking Democrat on the House Science Subcommittee on Basic Research and Democratic deputy whip.

She studied nursing at St. Mary's College at the University of Notre Dame and earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Christian University in 1967. She received a master's degree in public administration from Southern Methodist University in 1976 and subsequently served as the chief psychiatric nurse at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Dallas. Rep. Johnson was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Sunbelt National Bank and founder of Eddie Bernice Johnson and Associates, a real estate business. Rep. Johnson is also the recipient of five honorary doctorate degrees.

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PR 01-020
02/08/01
ISSN 0731-3527

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