The Northwest Indiana Times published an article on women’s service in Congress just days before the election titled, “100 years of women serving in Congress.” The story captured the significance of this 2016 Presidential Election for women as it provided an historical account of the women from Indiana that have served as legislators on Capitol Hill.
Each woman was given a brief bio of their background, which also included the challenges they faced in being elected and any accomplishments during their tenure. Unfortunately, the fifth woman from Indiana to serve in Congress, Katie B. Hall, Democrat from Gary, received the least ink as the author only mentioned one of her accomplishments while in Congress under the auspices “claim to fame.” Katie B. Hall was the first African American from Indiana to serve in the House of Representatives. When Hall arrived in Congress, she received seats on several Committees.
Of course, she will be remembered for being the legislator to accomplish what had been attempted each year for 15 years prior to her arrival. Katie B. Hall was able get bipartisan cooperation in order to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a national holiday.
The family of Katie Hall recently shared with the Gary Crusader Newspaper an Open Letter sent to “The Times” in response to the Monday, November 7, 2016 article, written by Junifer Hall, JD, MPA, MBA:
“On behalf of the Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc., I am writing in response to your article, “100 Years Of Women Serving In Congress”, which was published in today’s edition of The Times, (Monday, November 7, 2016).
“First, I would like to commend you for including Former United States Representative Katie Hall (D-IN), along with the other distinguished and historical women, who have served the State of Indiana in the United States House of Representatives for a period of 100 years.
“However, I, and other persons, who shared information with me about this article were dismayed at the casual, unbalanced, and lackadaisical attitude, coupled with the writing style regarding House of Representatives Bill, H.R. 3706, commonly known as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law Bill as authored and sponsored by former United States Representative Katie Hall (D-IN). As you are well aware, Former United States Representative Hall’s version of “The King Bill” was signed into federal law by Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America on November 2, 1983, in the Rose Garden, The White House, Washington, D.C.
“The “claim to fame” as you called it- of Former U.S. Representative Katie Hall (D-IN) in authoring and sponsoring “The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law” was given minute coverage in light of Mrs. Hall’s Congressional and historical accomplishment in this regard.
“Today, according to Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO, The King Center (Atlanta, Georgia)- Indiana Representative Hall’s works, which were based on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is observed annually by millions of Americans, and is celebrated in some form, in more than 100 countries around the world. On January 18, 2016, the Katie Hall Educational Foundation, The King Center, and millions of Americans celebrated the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law Observance (1986-2016). Moreover, on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, Representative Hall’s work was commemorated on the 33rd Anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law Signing Ceremony. Also, our Foundation has commissioned a postcard in honor of this historic anniversary, which currently sells for $1.00 each; and is a top seller in Northwest Indiana and other parts of the country.
“Lastly, of all of the historical Indiana Congresswomen mentioned in the article- there was no greater historical accomplishment that positively affected the lives of millions of Americans and people around the world than the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law, which was a giant step for African-Americans and a quantum leap for fairness, justice, and democracy in America and around the World.
“Contrarily, the statement referring to public corruption was inaccurate. Former United States Representative Katie Hall (D-IN) signed a Plea Agreement offered by the United States government attorneys; and was accepted by her, and her daughter, Junifer Hall, and her “Seven (7) Member Legal Dream Team”. The Plea Agreement involved one (1) conviction of Mail Fraud out of twenty-two (22) charges initially filed by the overreach of the United States Government attorneys in the Northern District of Indiana.
“As of this writing- the life, legacy, and contributions of love for humanity as exhibited by Former United States Representative Katie Hall (D-IN) based on the teaching and philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of love and non-violence continue to resonate POSITIVELY in the African-American communities in Gary, Northwest Indiana, the nation, and World.”