Barbara Jordan's Grave

This afternoon I visited the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. I saw a number of graves of historically significant Texans. One I found interesting was the grave of former Houston Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

Representative Jordan served in the U.S. House from 1973 until 1979. She did not run for reelection in 1978. She gained national attention for her service on the House judiciary committee during the Watergate hearings.

Ms. Jordan was the first black state senator in Texas since Reconstruction. She was one of the first two black Congresspersons from the South in the 20th Century (Andrew Young of Georgia was also elected in 1972.) Ms. Jordan was the first black woman Congressperson from the South.

Ms. Jordan’s headstone refers to her as an “Eloquent Champion of Ethics and Justice” and as a “Patriot.”

Ms. Jordan is buried on a hill in the cemetery that overlooks many Confederate war dead.

Ms. Jordan lived from 1936 until 1996.

Considering the lives of notable figures of the past is a way to evaluate the present. Doing so in the quiet setting of the Texas State Cemetery was an opportunity for useful reflection. If I lived in Austin, I would visit this cemetery often.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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