Tuesday afternoon, as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill were getting into battle mode in advance of the evening’s State of the Union address, House and Senate leadership sent out some news to soothe the partisan wounds.
More than seven years after President George W. Bush put his signature on a bill to place a statue of Rosa Parks in Statuary Hall, the likeness of the civil rights hero will arrive at the Capitol on Feb. 27.
Though the advisory was sent out through the office of House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, the notice was co-signed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“Additional details regarding the dedication of the statue will be announced closer to the date of the ceremony,” the advisory reads.
The statue of Parks will be the first to represent an African-American woman in the Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.
In 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., she was arrested for refusing a bus driver’s orders to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her act of civil disobedience gave birth to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and other pivotal acts in the struggle for equal rights and the end of segregation. She was later an aide to Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., for more than 20 years.
Shortly after Parks’ death in Oct. 2005, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., introduced the legislation calling for a statue in her honor to be placed in Statuary Hall. Bush signed the bill into law two months later.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.