National Archives Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm: “Unbought and Unbossed”
Press Release · Monday, February 4, 2019

Washington, DC

The National Archives will mark the 50th anniversary of  Shirley Chisholm’s historic entry into the U.S. House of Representatives with a featured document display opening February 5 and a screening of  the 2004 documentary Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed on February 14, at noon.

Made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the generous support of The Boeing Company.

The program and display are free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater and the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. Attendees for the screenings should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station. Reservations are recommended and can be made online. For those without reservations, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The theater doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program. Late seating will not be permitted 20 minutes after the program begins.

FEATURED DOCUMENT DISPLAY: Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm: “Unbought and Unbossed”Shirley Chisholm
February 5, 2019–April 3, 2019
East Rotunda Gallery, National Archives Museum, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m

In 1969, Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman to serve in Congress, or as she preferred, the “first black woman congressman.” In 1972, she was also the first woman and the first African American to seek the Democratic Presidential nomination as well as a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971 and the Congressional Women’s Caucus in 1977.

When Shirley Chisholm took her oath of office on January 21, 1969, she was the only new woman to enter Congress that term and just one of nine African American members in the House of Representatives. She made history again in 1977 when she became the first black woman and second woman ever to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee. To mark the 50th anniversary of Chisholm’s historic entry into the U.S. House of Representatives, her oath of office and a record from her service on the House Rules Committee will be displayed.

During her seven congressional terms, “Fighting Shirley” was an outspoken champion for economic justice and racial and gender equality. Fully aware of her place in history as a barrier-breaker, Chisholm hoped instead “to be remembered as a woman . . . who dared to be a catalyst of change.”

DOCUMENTARY SCREENING: Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed
Thursday, February 14, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Reserve a seat

In conjunction with the featured document display in the East Rotunda Gallery, a 2004 documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 Presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first to seek nomination for the presidency. A film by Shola Lynch.  (77 minutes.)


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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on February 8, 2019.
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