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Rep. Cochran says Jim Crow okay: 1934 | by Washington Area Spark
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Rep. Cochran says Jim Crow okay: 1934

John J. Cochran was a Democratic U.S. representative from Missouri from 1927-47 and is shown in an undated photograph circa 1930.


Cochran served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments (Seventy-second through Seventy-sixth Congresses), and the Committee on Accounts (Seventy-sixth through Seventy-ninth Congresses).


While a member of the Committee on Accounts he defended the Jim Crow introduced into the House public restaurant by then Chair Lindsay Warren.


When the only African American congressman, Oscar DePriest (R.-Il.), introduced a resolution to investigate the authority of the Accounts Committee to impose Jim Crow, Cochran gave a number of reasons and then said:


“Another reason that I opposed the resolution is that in my opinion it was introduced for political reasons, the author desiring to further his political interest in the recent primary in Chicago.”


“As a member of the Committee on Accounts I can say the restaurant has been conducted under the same rules as it was conducted when the Republican Party was in power…”


After the resolution to investigate passed, Cochran offered a resolution that said in part: “No Negro shall be permitted to eat in the house restaurant unless accompanied by a member of Congress.”


While DePriest’s resolution passed, the special committee it created recommended to keep Jim Crow in the House Restaurant and the committee report was never brought to the House floor as Speaker of the House Thomas Rainey let time expire at the end of the congressional session.


The House public restaurant remained Jim Crow for almost 20 more years.


For a detailed account of the fight against Jim Crow in the U.S. Capitol restaurants, see


For related images, see


The photographer is unknown. The image is a Harris and Ewing photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-hec-21611 (digital file from original negative)

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Taken circa 1930