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Sun, 02.17.1918

Charles Hayes, Unionist, and Congressman born

Charles Hayes

*On this date, we mark the birth of Charles Arthur Hayes in 1918. He was a Black unionist, politician, and member of the House of Representatives from Illinois.

From Cairo, Alexander County, Ill., he graduated from Sumner High School, Cairo, in 1935; Hayes was a trade unionist from 1938-1983, where he was a president from 1940 to 1942. In 1943, he served as vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Also, in 1972, Hayes was a founding member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU).  Hayes was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-eighth Congress by special election on August 23, 1983, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Harold Washington and was re-elected to the Ninety-ninth and the three succeeding Congresses and served for nearly ten years.

While a representative, Hayes was on the Committee on Education and Labor and Small Business Committee. He was most noted for legislation encouraging school dropouts to reenter and complete their education. He also consistently opposed the programs of the then-white-minority government of South Africa. Charles Hayes was an unsuccessful candidate for re-nomination in 1992 to the One Hundred-Third Congress.  He was a Chicago, Ill. resident until his death on April 8, 1997.

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Black Americans In Congress 1870-1989.
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U.S. Government Printing Office
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