PERMITTING USE OF ROTUNDA OF CAPITOL FOR CEREMONY TO AWARD CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL TO DR. DOROTHY HEIGHT -- (House of Representatives - February 10, 2004)
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 357) permitting the use of the rotunda of the Capitol for a ceremony to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. Dorothy Height.
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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I again would like to associate myself with the remarks of the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica), who is eloquent and noteworthy in his praise. This has been a historic afternoon in so many respects, pausing to honor the works of Glenn Brown in the historic writings as they relate to this great Capitol facility, pausing to reflect and remember and reserve the great rotunda to participate in the Days of Remembrance with regard to the Holocaust, and now to step forward and pay homage and honor a living legend.
I urge all Members to join all of us in supporting the distinguished chairman's motion. There can be no more appropriate use of the Capitol rotunda than for a ceremony to honor Dr. Dorothy Irene Height for a lifetime of achievement of social equality and justice.
The author of the original legislation, our distinguished colleague, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Watson), could not be here today, but deserves credit for having had the persistency to make sure that not only would Dr. Height receive the gold medal, but also that we would, as this Congress is required, reserve the rotunda for this great ceremony.
It is important for me today to note that Dr. Height is in my home State of Connecticut at a book signing as I speak. I am pleased that the appropriate ceremony will be approaching next month.
Congress reserves its highest civilian honor for men and women whose contributions to American society exemplify the highest traditions and ideals of public service. By every measure, Dr. Dorothy Height's lifelong commitment to the principles of freedom, equality, and social justice compels this award.
Beginning during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt and continuing to the present day, Dorothy Height has fought to promote human and civil rights throughout our society. For decades she has worked tirelessly to promote the appointment of qualified women to senior Federal positions. As president of the National Council of Negro Women since 1957, Dr. Height has been an especially forceful advocate for the advancement of African Americans. In addition, and on a personal note, I would like to acknowledge the work of Mrs. Mary A. Ballard, who
leads the Hartford section of the National Council of Negro Women in my home district.
Mr. Speaker, as Congress recognized last year, there is no doubt that America is a far better place thanks to the labor and commitment of Dr. Dorothy Height on behalf of not only those among us who face the burdens of injustice but all of us. She deserves great credit. The use of the Capitol rotunda to award the gold medal to Dorothy Height is not only fitting; it is required and long overdue.
I urges all Members to join in supporting the resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis).
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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my