This Day in Black History: Nov. 8, 1966

Edward W. Brooke III awarded seat in U.S. Senate.

Posted: 11/08/2011 07:00 AM EST

Edward W. Brooke III is elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, ending an 85-year absence of African-American senators in Washington. He notably labeled himself a “creative Republican” and his moderate views would help him gain support from members of both parties. Upon accepting the seat, he promised to “unite men who have not been united before,” reiterating his pledge to represent his constituents equally regardless of race.

(Photo: Courtesy of Edward Brooke)