D.C. Statehood Fights for Rights for District; Hearing Offers Detailed History of Bid for Self-Determination

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 27, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

D.C. Statehood Fights for Rights for District; Hearing Offers Detailed History of Bid for Self-Determination


Byline: Ann Loikow, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

At a recent D.C. Council hearing on the history of the nation's capital, council member Michael A. Brown began with excerpts from two films: Rebecca Kingsley's The Last Colony, a detailed history of the city's struggle for self-determination, and Un-Natural State by Kirk Mangels and Brad Mendelsohn.

Mr. Brown, chairman of the council's Special Committee on Statehood and Self-Determination, convened the hearing on May 13. The testimony began with the city's origins in the 1700s, weaved its way through the decades leading to the heady days of the 1960s and home rule, and ended with a D.C. student voicing concern that D.C. isn't part of the Union.

Professors and former elected officials were invited to give historical information about the different forms of city governance as part of a series of public hearings and roundtables leading up to a larger town hall-type meeting in the fall, said Linda Wharton-Boyd, spokeswoman for Mr. Brown. The next hearing, on Monday, will focus on the constitutionality of statehood for the District.

As we talk about statehood, not enough people know the city's history, Ms. Wharton-Boyd said.

Kenneth R. Bowling, an adjunct associate professor of history at George Washington University, reported on the early history of the national capital (1779-1801) and the constitutional power of Congress to create the District of Columbia and control it legislatively as well as congressional passage of the Organic Act of 1801, which a lame-duck Federalist Congress passed in an effort to assert total federal control over the seat of the government before Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republican party took power.

It was not the intent of the Revolutionary generation to deny D.C. residents voting rights in Congress, Mr. Bowling said. When the U.S. has had a strong president who was interested in the District, Congress has given its residents some rights. He said the time to take action is now, and suggested the city seek the repeal of the Organic Act of 1801 and the creation of a territory.

Smithsonian Institution scholar C.R. Gibbs, who also is founder of the African History and Culture Lecture Series, discussed several aspects of D.C. governance: the mayoral period (1802-1871), in which there were varying forms of local suffrage within the different jurisdictions of the federal district; the retrocession of the Virginia portion of the District to the commonwealth of Virginia; the combination of the remaining separate jurisdictions in the Maryland portion of the District into one governmental unit; the creation of a partially popularly elected territorial government and the election of a nonvoting delegate to Congress (1871-1874); and the replacement of the territorial government with three presidentially appointed commissioners (1874-1963). He noted that Emancipation Day, when the slaves in the District were freed in April 16, 1862, was seen at the time as a transformative event that would lead to the end of slavery in the United States.

Former D.C. Statehood Party Chairman Samuel Jordan, who is a human rights lawyer, discussed the civil rights era (1961-1973) and highlighted the role that race has played in the city's history, including the 23rd Amendment, which granted D.C. residents a vote in the Electoral College for president.

He also discussed the major nonviolent demonstrations that set the stage for Congress' limited delegation of home-rule authority in the 1970s. These included the 1963 March on Washington and the 1966 Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee boycott of D.C. transit, led by Marion Barry and the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis' fight against freeways in 1967, which helped unify D.C. and metropolitan activists and led to the establishment of the D.C. Statehood Party.

The assassination of Martin Luther King in April 1968 was quickly followed by the election of the District's first school board, a nonvoting delegate and mayor, a D.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

D.C. Statehood Fights for Rights for District; Hearing Offers Detailed History of Bid for Self-Determination
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.