Take Two

Posted May 23, 2003 at 5:13pm

Activist and entertainer Dick Gregory sent a letter to every Senator this month, expressing frustration that no one has shown interest in his campaign to have former Sen. Richard Russell’s (D-Ga.) name removed from the Russell Senate Office Building.

Gregory first wrote to all 100 Senators in January requesting passage of a resolution to strip Russell’s name from the building because of his longstanding opposition to anti-lynching laws and other racist actions. [IMGCAP(1)]

“The results were discouraging. My letter … failed to generate a single response,” Gregory wrote in his more recent piece of correspondence.

“We make this request to correct a historical wrong. We make it to achieve justice for the thousands of Americans who were illegally and brutally executed,” Gregory wrote in the new letter, in which he seeks a meeting with each Senator to discuss the issue.

Gregory’s organization, Change-TheName.org, has gathered 300 signatures in an online petition supporting the removal of Russell’s name and statute from the Senate building.

Flag Day. Taking a cue from the Senate, the House plans to install the 50 state flags and state seals in the corridor between the Rayburn House Office Building and the Capitol.

The Architect of the Capitol is expected to complete the task within the next week or so. State flags and seals currently hang in the tunnel between the Dirksen and Hart Senate office buildings and the Capitol in the order they were admitted to the union.

“We are constantly looking at ways to improve the appearance of our House buildings, and this is just one more step in that direction,” House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

“The Speaker has always made this a top priority, and our Committee and our House officials continue to follow his lead. I commend our AOC Alan Hantman for this latest initiative to brighten our halls,” he added.

Red, Hot and Blue. Legendary funny man Bob Hope, who will celebrate his 100th birthday on May 29, can rest assured that his memory will live on.

Last week, the Government Reform Committee approved legislation creating the “Bob Hope American Patriot Award.”

The bill, honoring Hope’s contributions to the U.S. military, would authorize the creation of a presidential award given annually to the individual or organization that “has demonstrated extraordinary love of this Nation and devotion to its citizens in the form of true patriotism.”

— Amy Keller, Suzanne Nelson and Bree Hocking