On this date in 2007, Frederick Douglass was posthumously honored as the first Black reporter allowed into the Capitol press galleries. For those who don’t know, Douglass was a member of the congressional press galleries from 1870-1874.
As Senate historian Donald Ritchie explains: "We know he was here because the congressional directory, then as now, prints a list of everybody who sat in the gallery." Douglass has been known as fiercely opposing slavery and for championing equal rightsandwomen's rights.
But he spent much of his adult life as a journalist, first publishing a newspaper in Rochester, New York. He lived there near the Canadian border so that he could escape if pursued, but moved to our nation's capital "He was here,” Ritchie adds. “He did report because the African-American community really wanted to know what was happening in Congress during Reconstruction."