Why Famous: Powell was the first African-American Congressman from New York, and would hold this office for close to three decades. During his time in Congress, he became powerful within the Democratic party and was known to urge support for developing post-colonial nations in Africa and Asia.
When Powell became chairman of the Education and Labour Committee, it marked a historic watershed for African-Americans in politics, with this the highest office ever held by an African-American in Congress. In this role he supported landmark social and civil rights legislation under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
- 1944-08-01 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. elected 1st African-American congressman from New York
- 1961-01-03 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. elected Chairman of US House Education and Labor Committee
- 1967-04-11 Harlem (NYC) voters defy Congress and reelect Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
- 1970-06-23 Charles Rangel defeats Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in Democratic primary in New York