Showing posts with label Congressional Gold Medal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congressional Gold Medal. Show all posts

Monday, October 25, 2021

Minnesota delegation looks to honor Prince with Congressional Gold Medal

Minnesota’s Congressional delegation on Monday is introducing a resolution to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Prince, citing his “indelible mark on Minnesota and American culture.”

The resolution for Prince is led by Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat who represents Minneapolis in the House. The full Minnesota delegation serves as original cosponsors, including Sen. Tina Smith and Reps. Jim Hagedorn, Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, Betty McCollum, Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Pete Stauber and Omar.

“Prince is a Minnesota icon,” said Omar in a statement. “He showed that it was OK to be a short, Black kid from Minneapolis and still change the world. He not only changed the arc of music history; he put Minneapolis on the map.”

The bill also puts into the Congressional record the glyph he used instead of his name for a time that Prince called “The Love Symbol.”

Under the rules, Congressional Gold Medals require the support of at least two-thirds of the members of both the Senate and House of Representatives before they can be signed into law by the president. The Prince legislation will be introduced in the House and Senate.

If the gold medal is approved and made, the bill asks that it be given to the Smithsonian Institution, which should make it available for display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture or on loan.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Senate passes bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Willie O'Ree, the first Black NHL player

The US Senate passed legislation this week to grant Congress' highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, to Willie O'Ree, the first Black player to compete in the National Hockey League.

The bipartisan measure to honor Willie O'Ree unanimously passed the chamber on Tuesday. It now must be approved by the US House of Representatives for O'Ree to be awarded the medal. Known as "the Jackie Robinson of hockey," O'Ree, 85, broke the NHL's color barrier in 1958 with the Boston Bruins, one of six teams at the time.

The legislation would award O'Ree the nation's highest civilian award that Congress can bestow "in recognition of his extraordinary contributions and commitment to hockey, inclusion, and recreational opportunity."

The bill was first introduced in 2019 by Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. They reintroduced the legislation in February.

In a statement, Stabenow called O'Ree a "trailblazer for young people across the country," touting his work on the NHL initiative "Hockey Is For Everyone."

"From the hockey arena to serving young athletes in his community, Willie O'Ree's legacy has inspired generations," Scott said. "Willie's career didn't end on the ice; it was punctuated by the generations of athletes he helped navigate the path he paved."

"I look forward to the House acting quickly on this well-deserved recognition of Willie's historic achievements," the senator added.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Montford Point Marine Veteran Receives Congressional Gold Medal

[SOURCE] Montford Point Marine Sgt. Hiram L. Knowles was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his honorable service during the Era of World War II on Feb. 7, 2015 at the Mary Woodard Lasker Biomedical Research Building, New York City.

In 2012, Congress authorized the Congressional Gold Medal to be awarded to each of the 20,000 Montford Point Marines or to their families in recognition of the accomplishments and sacrifices made during a time of segregation.

“It’s a great honor for anyone to give their service to our country and knowing what my dad did, was a great gift,” said Jemere Smith, Knowles’ daughter.

Montford Point Marines were the first African-American Marines to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. They got the name because of their segregated training site at Montford Point, North Carolina. Along with family and loved ones in the audience, was Ambassador Theodore Britton Jr., a former Marine who served beside Knowles as a Montford Point Marine.

“We had a great time. He was a lot of fun, (but) he took care of business, and didn’t take any stuff from no one because he knew what he was doing,” said Britton, the honorary Consul General of the Republic of Albania. “I was pleased to serve with him.”

The Montford Point Marine Training Facility was shut down in 1949 after President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 which desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces.

“My time in service was very educational; it was like a college education, reading, writing, and learning,” said Britton. “I came out a very well educated person even though I didn’t formally go to school.” Between 1942 and 1949 over 20,000 African-American Marines were trained. Of those, 13,000 served overseas areas including Vietnam, Japan and Guadalcanal.

To date, at least 400 Montford Point Marines have received this honor.