January 13th: Douglas Wilder Takes Office as Governor of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.

January 13, 2023

Douglas Wilder became the first elected African American governor in the United States when he took office as Governor of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia on January 13, 1990. Wilder’s victory was historic and marked a significant milestone in the struggle for civil rights and racial equality in the United States.

Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1931, Wilder was the grandson of slaves and grew up in poverty. He attended Virginia Union University and later received a law degree from Howard University. After serving in the military and practicing law, Wilder entered politics, serving as a state senator and then as the lieutenant governor of Virginia.

In 1989, Wilder ran for governor of Virginia and was elected in a close race, becoming the first African American to hold the office. As governor, Wilder focused on education, economic development, and criminal justice reform. He also worked to improve relations between the state government and Virginia’s African American community.

Wilder’s historic election as governor was a testament to the progress that had been made in the struggle for civil rights, and it was a moment of great pride for African Americans across the country. His legacy as a pioneering politician and leader continues to inspire people today.

References:

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/douglas-wilder-virginia-elected-first-african-american-governor-us

https://virginiahistory.org/learn/l-douglas-wilder

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1989/11/08/wilder-narrowly-defeats-coleman-in-virginia-to-become-first-elected-black-us-governor/0867bcce-8a3f-4367-bfba-6e2bdd1ec2c1/

 

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