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  • Corneal Davis Collection

Corneal A. Davis (Democrat) served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1943 through 1978. He represented the First District from 1943-1956, the Twentieth District from 1957-1964, the Twenty-second District from 1967-1978, and as an At-large Representative from 1965-1966. Known as “Deacon” because of his pulpit-style oratory, Davis fought for civil and women’s rights, fair employment practices, and the care and protection of children. Included among his major legislative accomplishments was the passage of legislation creating the Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1961 and a resolution establishing a commission on child care study in 1974. Davis also played an important role in securing funds for the restoration of the Old State Capitol in Springfield. In addition to being chairman of the Public Aid, Health, Welfare and Safety Committee (1961-1962 and 1965-1968, Davis served on a number of other committees including Appropriations, Insurance, Rules and Public Utilities, Railroads, and Aviation. He also served as Assistant Minority Leader from 1971-1974 and Assistant Majority Leader from 1975-1978.

Photographs in this collection include images of Corneal Davis attending events, the signing of legislation related to the Fair Employment Practices Commission, and civil rights protests in Cairo.

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