Katie Beatrice Green Hall became the first black woman from Indiana to serve in the U.S. Congress.
On April 3, 1938, Katie Beatrice Green Hall was born to Jeff and Bessie Mae Hooper Green, in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. One of 12 children, Green attended the public schools in Mound Bayou and received a bachelor of science degree from Mississippi Valley State University in 1960. During her junior year of college, in 1957, she married John H. Hall. The couple had three children.
In 1968, she received an M.S. degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. She subsequently taught social studies in Gary, Indiana, an industrial city on the south shore of Lake Michigan.
Hall’s early political involvement included campaigning for black lawyer Richard Hatcher, a Gary mayoral candidate. The experience encouraged her to enter electoral politics herself. She ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Indiana state house of representatives in 1972 but won a seat in 1974. Two years later, Hall was elected to the state senate, where she served from 1976 until 1982. Hall became the first black woman from Indiana to serve in the U.S. Congress.
She also served as the chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Committee from 1978 to 1980 and chaired the 1980 Indiana Democratic convention.
Katie Hall made her most lasting legislative contribution as chairwoman of the Post Office and Civil Service Subcommittee on Census and Population. Devoted to commemorating the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in July 1983 Hall introduced a bill to make King’s birthday a federal holiday.