Howard W. Smith - Portrait Controversy

Portrait Controversy

In January 1995, the House Rules Committee chairman, Republican Congressman Gerald B. H. Solomon, had a portrait of Smith hung in the Committee hearing room. The Congressional Black Caucus requested that it be removed. Georgia Congressman John Lewis said:

It is an affront to all of us ... perhaps best remembered for his obstruction in passing this country's civil rights laws. A man who in his own words never accepted the colored race as a race of people who had equal intelligence and education and social attainments as the White people of the South...

Solomon said he displayed the portrait to acknowledge Smith's cooperative work with Republicans when he was chairman but that he was unaware of his segregationist views. The portrait was later removed.

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