Obama Will Honor Trailblazing Black Senator

Posted October 26, 2009 at 5:58pm

President Barack Obama will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning for a ceremony honoring former Sen. Edward William Brooke (R-Mass.), the first African-American elected by popular vote to the Senate.Obama will join House and Senate party leaders in the Capitol Rotunda to honor Brooke with a Congressional Gold Medal. Those in attendance will include Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).Brooke was a Republican Senator from 1967 through 1979. He was the first African-American elected to the Senate since the 19th century and the only person of African heritage sent to the Senate in the 20th century until the arrival of former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.) in 1993.