Pelosi, Clyburn Announce Opening of Joseph Rainey Exhibition

December 4, 2020
Press Release

CAPTION: House Clerk Cheryl Johnson leads Speaker Pelosi and Whip Clyburn through the newly-unveiled exhibit ‘Joseph Rainey: 150 Years.’

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today announced the opening of ‘Joseph Rainey: 150 Years,’ an exhibition in the United States Capitol celebrating the 150th anniversary of the swearing-in of Congressman Joseph Rainey of South Carolina, the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“It is a great honor to join Whip Clyburn — a proud son of South Carolina — to announce the opening of this exhibition, celebrating the historic service and enduring impact of Congressman Joseph Rainey,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  “As Speaker, it has long been my priority to ensure that the halls of the United States Capitol reflect the full, vibrant and diverse portrait of American history, and this special exhibition will help finally share the story of Congressman Rainey, which has for too long and for too many gone untold.  As it communicates an important part of our nation’s history, this exhibition will also help inform and inspire the future – engaging the next generation of voting rights and civil rights champions.”

“I want to thank Speaker Pelosi and the Clerk of the House, Cheryl Johnson, for having the vision to mark this 150th anniversary of Joseph Rainey’s swearing in as the first African American House member in this important way,” said Whip Jim Clyburn.  “History can only inform us, if we know that history.  This exhibit reminds us to celebrate those whose shoulders we stand upon and to learn the lessons from the long arc of the Black experience in this august body.”   

‘Joseph Rainey: 150 Years’ is located in the first floor House Connecting Corridor in the Capitol.  To learn more about Joseph Rainey and Civil Rights in the House, visit the History, Art and Archives website, which features a new biography of Representative Rainey, oral histories and more in honor of this important anniversary.