Oscar DePriest (1871-1951) was the first African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 20th century and the first African American congressman from the North. He lived in this house during his three terms. A Republican, DePriest represented Chicago from 1929 until 1934, during which time he was the only black representative in Congress. In 1929 First Lady Lou Henry Hoover caused an uproar by entertaining Jessie DePriest at tea in the White House. DePriest was an outspoken critic of segregation and introduced several anti-discrimination bills. In 1933 he succeeded in attaching an anti-discrimination amendment to the law that established the Civilian Conservation Corps, a government program that helped relieve the widespread unemployment of the Great Depression. Locally, he increased Howard University's congressional appropriations. His fine corner home was one of a block of houses designed in the 1870s by white architect James H. McGill that remains intact today.


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