Press Pass Worn By Ethel L. Payne

Object Details

paper, plastic
2 9/16 × 4 in. (6.5 × 10.1 cm)
Cite As
Ethel Lois Payne Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Gift of Avis R. Johnson.
This press pass admitted journalist Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991) to the House of Representatives and the Senate during the 84th Congressional Session (1955-1956). The third African American reporter to join the White House Press Corps, Payne covered politics for The Chicago Defender, the nation’s leading African American newspaper. Less than a year after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board decision, events during the 84th Congress, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Emmet Till’s murder, led to the next Congress passing the first Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law in 1957. A Chicago native, Payne moved to Washington, DC in 1952 to cover national and international news. The lifelong civil rights activist reported from thirty countries over the course of her career, becoming known as the First Lady of the Black Press.
Accession Number
press pass
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Record ID
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