Listening to Barbara Jordan #5: “Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest”


from Say it Plain:

It was a speech she did not initially want to make. In her autobiography, Jordan said she thought the committee should stick to fact-finding instead of speechmaking. “The reaction from the other committee members was: ‘You must be out of your head.’ It seemed they all wanted that fifteen minutes on television,” Jordan wrote.


In methodical and determined tones, she unfolded the constitutional standards that President Nixon had appeared to have violated. Two days later, on July 27, 1974, Jordan voted to impeach the president (Nixon would resign before the Senate commenced a trial). Telegrams and letters poured into Jordan’s office in the days following her speech. A man put up billboards all over Houston thanking Jordan for explaining the Constitution.

Audio copyright

6 Responses

  1. I am doing a report on Barbara Jordan and this is very helpful.

    Thank you.

  2. Why is it so difficult to locate the VIDEO of her 1976 speech? It is a historic speech that should be in archives and be viewable on the internet.

  3. Kayla, you’re welcome.

    DAvid, I agree, it’s frustrating to not find video. Remember, this was before 24 hour news cycle. Still, we know that video is out there. There used to be some on youtube but they were removed for copyright reason.

    There is a good site with many links, some to video but I’ve never gotten them to work.

  4. I recently stumbled on your excellent post while I was researching Jordan; my god, what an inspiration she was!

    I couldn’t get the UTexas vid to work either, but kept hunting. There are full-length vids of both her impeachment speech (12 min.) and her ’76 Keynote speech (20 min) , at the Congressional Black Caucus site,

    Enjoy, rich

  5. Thanks for that video link, Richard. I’ll definitely check it out.

  6. […] “Indignation so great as to overgrow party interests.” […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: