Diggs, Charles C., 1922-1998

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Charles Coles Diggs Jr. (December 2, 1922 – August 24, 1998) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Michigan who served in the state senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Diggs was an early member of the civil rights movement. In September 1955, the Michigan Representative garnered national attention when he attended the trial of the two white Mississippians accused of murdering Emmett Till. He was also elected the first chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and was a staunch critic of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Born in Detroit, Charles was the only child of Mayme E. Jones Diggs, and Charles Diggs Sr. He attended the University of Michigan, Detroit College of Law (1952-52) and Fisk University. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945. After his discharge, Diggs worked as a funeral director. He served as a member of the Michigan State Senate from the 3rd district 1951-54, just as his father had from 1937 to 1944.

He was rooted in his family's business, the House of Diggs, which at one time was said to be Michigan's largest funeral home.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Blair Moody Papers, 1928-1954, 1934-1952 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Operation Crossroads Africa. Archives. 1958-81. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
referencedIn White House Press Releases (Ford Administration), 1974 - 1977. Press Releases, 1974 - 1977. Press Releases, August 21, 1974 Gerald R. Ford Library
referencedIn Prentiss Marsh Brown Papers, 1902-1973 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Michigan Civil Service Study Commission records, 1935-1941 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 2015. General Records, 1791 - 2010. Discharge Petition for H.R. 7152, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 12/12/1963 National Archives at Washington, D.C
referencedIn Margaret Bayne Price Papers, 1918-1969, 1947-1968 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Alumni Association (University of Michigan), Individual Photographs, ca. 1880-ca. 1960s Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961, Papers, 1822, 1831, 1845, 1903-2007 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn George W. Pray Papers, 1844-1890 Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Floyd B. McKissick Papers, 1940s-1980s University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 2015. Committee Papers, 1822 - 2009. Correspondence Files of Representative Charles S. Diggs, Jr., of the Subcommittee on Africa of the Committee on Foreign Affairs for the 93rd Congress National Archives at Washington, D.C
referencedIn Papers, 1927-1979 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brown, Prentiss Marsh, 1889-1973 person
almaMaterOf Detroit College of Law corporateBody
almaMaterOf Fisk University corporateBody
correspondedWith McKissick, Floyd B. (Floyd Bixler), 1922- person
associatedWith Michigan. Civil Service Study Commission. corporateBody
memberOf Michigan. Legislature. Senate corporateBody
associatedWith Moody, Blair, 1902-1954 person
associatedWith Operation Crossroads Africa. corporateBody
associatedWith Pray, George Washington, 1825-1890 person
associatedWith Price, Margaret Bayne, 1912-1968 person
associatedWith Rayburn, Sam, 1882-1961 person
associatedWith Sampson, Edith S. (Edith Spurlock), 1901? -1979 person
memberOf United States. Congress. House person
almaMaterOf University of Michigan. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Alumni Association. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Wayne State University corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
District of Columbia DC US
Nashville TN US
Prince George's County MD US
Detroit MI US
Ann Arbor MI US
Funeral Director
Representatives, U.S. Congress
State Senator


Birth 1922-12-02

Death 1998-08-24





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