October 27, 2000
12:00 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate late Thursday night passed four Energy and Natural Resource Committee bills by unanimous consent. The bills now move on to the White House for the President’s signature. Among those passed was HR 4404 sponsored by Representative James V. Hansen (R - Utah), which would permit the National Park Service to pay for medical expenses incurred by the United States Park Police in the performance of duty. Included in the four was HR 4957, sponsored by Representative Charles Rangel (D - NY), which amends the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996 to extend the legislative authority for the Black Patriots Foundation to establish a commemorative work. The work will honor the brave contributions of the 5,000 black patriots who fought to end British rule during the American Revolution. One of the most famous black patriots was Crispus Attucks, who became one of the first to die during the Boston Massacre in 1770. Attucks was killed while protesting the brutal tactics used by King George III’s troops to enforce the Stamp Act, Sugar Act and Currency Act. As Attucks and his fellow patriots marched toward the assembled troops, they were fired upon and many were killed. John Adams remarked that, “On that night the foundation of American Independence was laid.” A bill that would honor Frederick Douglass, HR 5331 sponsored by Congressman Danny K. Davis (D - Illinois.), was also approved. The measure authorizes the Frederick Douglass Gardens, Inc., and establishes a memorial and gardens on Department of the Interior lands in the District of Columbia to honor and commemorate Frederick Douglass. Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in 1818. After escaping to freedom, he became a Stationmaster on the Underground Railroad and helped hundreds of slaves find freedom. A man known for his eloquent words, Douglass lectured throughout Great Britain and the United States on the brutality of slavery. His speeches and his work as a newspaper publisher brought the news of the slavery movement to thousands of people, including Abraham Lincoln. Douglass helped convince President Lincoln that Emancipation should be at the forefront of the Civil War. Douglass moved to Washington, D.C. in 1872 and served as the publisher of the New National Era. He was dedicated to elevating the standing of African-Americans after Emancipation. Douglass also held several national service positions, including diplomatic positions in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Finally, HR 5083 sponsored by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal - Allard (D - Calif.) extends the authority of the Los Angeles Unified School District to use certain park lands in the city of South Gate, California. The park lands will be used for elementary school purposes and were acquired with funds provided from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. ###