Jackie Robinson, the man who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, will be recognized today for his work both on and off the field when he will be posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. [IMGCAP(1)]
Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, will receive the medal on behalf of her husband and will be joined by President Bush and several Congressional leaders at today’s ceremony.
The bill, which was written by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), was introduced and passed in 2003. It honors the Hall of Fame infielder for his athletic achievements, civil rights leadership and service in the Army.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest award the legislative branch can bestow on a civilian, and it must be co-sponsored by two-thirds of both chambers.
The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda.
Tax Man. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) has appointed former Rep. Jerry Kleczka (D-Wis.) to be one of the state’s Tax Appeals commissioners, according to WisPolitics.com.
Kleczka will serve on a three-member Tax Appeals Commission, which decides disputes between individuals or entities and the state’s Department of Revenue involving major taxes.
“I am grateful for the confidence Gov. Doyle has shown in my abilities and excited by the opportunity to continue serving the people of Wisconsin in this new and important capacity,” Kleczka said. “It is an honor to join the Doyle team.”
Doyle cited Kleczka’s experience with tax issues as one of his qualifications for the position.
“Kleczka’s lawmaking experience, much of it focused on tax policy, makes him uniquely qualified for the job,” Doyle told WisPolitics.com.
Kleczka, who retired at the end of the 108th Congress after 11 terms, will serve a six-year term beginning March 14.
A Day to Remember. House lawmakers approved a resolution Tuesday to host the National Days of Remembrance Ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on May 5.
This year’s ceremony, which seeks to honor victims of the Holocaust, is themed “From Liberation to the Pursuit of Justice.”
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum selected the theme to reflect the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps as well as the ensuing war crimes trials in Nuremberg, Germany.
“Evil persists in the world, but our triumph over the perpetrators of the Holocaust reminds us that evil can be defeated — but only if we have the courage to stand up to it. That is a vital lesson, one we must never forget — this ceremony will help us remember it,” said House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio), the bill’s sponsor, while speaking Monday on the chamber floor.
— John McArdle, Megan King and Jennifer Yachnin