WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily Black History Month feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7: FIRST BLACK MEMBER OF U.S. HOUSE
Profile America for the seventh day of Black History Month. Joseph Hayne Rainey was born into slavery in Georgetown, South Carolina. His father however, was able to buy his family's freedom, and young Joseph followed his father into a successful business as a barber. When the Civil War broke out, Rainey escaped to Bermuda with his family. Returning to Georgetown in 1866, he entered Republican party politics. In 1870, he was elected to fill a vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, created when that body refused to seat his predecessor. This made Rainey the first black to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was reelected to the next four congresses. In the just ended 111th Congress, there were 42 African-American members. This special edition of Profile America is a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2010, p. 600
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2010, t. 395
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button). For further information, contact Rick Reed: 301-763-2812; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: rreed-at-census.gov.
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau