Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
DIGGS, Charles Coles, Jr. (1922-1998)

DIGGS, CHARLES COLES, JR., a Representative from Michigan; born in Detroit, Wayne County, Mich., December 2, 1922; attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1940-1942; attended Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn., 1942; United States Army, 1943-1945; graduated from Wayne College of Mortuary Science, Detroit, Mich., 1946; licensed mortician and board chairman of the House of Diggs, Inc.; attended Detroit College of Law, 1950; member of the Michigan state senate, 1951-1954; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fourth Congress, reelected to the twelve succeeding Congresses and served until his resignation (January 3, 1955-June 3, 1980); censured by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 31, 1979, for multiple convictions of mail fraud and payroll fraud; chairman, Committee on District of Columbia (Ninety-third through Ninety-fifth Congresses); operated a funeral home business in Prince George's County, Md.; died on August 24, 1998, in Washington, D.C.; interment in Detroit Memorial Park East, Warren, Macomb County, Mich.

Howard University
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center
Washington, DC
Papers: 1954-1983, approximately 965 linear feet.
The papers of Charles Diggs include correspondence, speeches, photographs, constituent inquiries, personal, family and business papers (House of Diggs Funeral Home), materials documenting the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus, his work as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Africa, the National Black Political Convention, the United Nations, the Charles Diggs trial, conviction and appeal, audiovisuals, awards, scrapbooks and printed material. Finding aids are available for the 42 boxes of Sub-Committee on Africa materials, and photographs.

Oral History: June 1984. 210 pages.
Restricted. Unavailable for research use.


Lyndon B. Johnson Library
Austin, TX
Oral History: March 13, 1969. 13 pages.
Concern civil rights, the 1967 Detriot riots, Vietnam bombing policy, and reorganization of the District of Columbia. A transcript of the interview also is available online.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Sound Tape Reels: In the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Audio Materials, 1956-1977, 356 analog and 140 acetate sound tape reels.
Persons represented include Charles C. Diggs. An inventory is available in the library.


Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: In the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Ohio Branch Records, 1931-1973, 6 cubic feet.
Other authors include Charles C. Diggs.


University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: In the Prentiss Marsh Brown Papers, 1902-1973, 28 linear feet.
Other authors include Charles C. Diggs. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Papers: In the Michigan Civil Service Study Commission Records, 1935-1942, 6 linear feet.
Correspondents include Charles C. Diggs.

Papers: In the Blair Moody Papers, 1928-1954 and undated, 31 linear feet.
Other authors include Charles C. Diggs. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

Papers: In the Margaret Bayne Price Papers, 1918-1969, 25 linear feet.
Other authors include Charles C. Diggs. A finding aid is available in the repository.

  • "Charles Coles Diggs, Jr." in Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of History & Preservation, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2008.
  • Diggs, Charles C. "Cover: A New Congressman With an Interest in Negro History." Negro History Bulletin 18 (April 1955): 162-3.
  • DuBose, Carolyn. The Untold Story of Charles Diggs: The Public Figure, the Private Man. Arlington, Va.: Barton Publishing House, Inc., 1998.
  • Metz, Steven. "Congress, the Antiapartheid Movement, and Nixon." Diplomatic History 12 (Spring 1988): 165-85.