Congresswoman. Lawyer. Professor. Barbara Jordan relied upon all three of these roles as she prepared her speech before Congress during the hearings to decide whether to approve articles of impeachment against President Richard Milhouse Nixon in the summer of 1974. Her role as congresswoman provided her both a forum and a responsibility—the opportunity to speak to her fellow representatives and to all Americans from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to explain the burden and the responsibilities associated with the impeachment process. As a lawyer, Jordan looked to the Constitution, the bedrock of American law, to expand upon those responsibilities. As a professor, Jordan played the historian and the lecturer, identifying context and commentary from the past as she delivered a civics lesson on the solemn and serious purpose of impeachment.


This site will attempt to offer some insights into Barbara Jordan's speech and its legacy. Click on the image below for just one such assessment.


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For a more complete overview of Barbara Jordan and her most famous speech, take an hour and listen to this Public Radio International audio documentary. You will need to sign up for a free account, but it will be worth your while.

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