Profile America: Edward Brooke, First Popularly Elected Black US Senator

Sunday, November 6 —  This week in 1966, Edward Brooke, a Republican, became the nation’s first African-American to win election to the U.S. Senate by popular vote, and only the third to serve in that chamber. During Reconstruction in the 1870s, two blacks chosen by Mississippi’s legislature briefly represented the state as senators. Brooke’s election ended an 85-year absence of blacks in the Senate. Since his defeat in a bid for a third term in 1978, the chamber has seated six more blacks, one of whom cut his term short to become President. In the 2012 election, 56.5 percent of registered Americans voted. Massachusetts, with 65.4 percent participation, trailed very few states. One of them was Mississippi, with the nation’s highest state voting rate of 73.3 percent.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online here.

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