HR 360 Congressional Gold Medal

Week Ending April 25, 2013

H.R.360 To award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, in recognition of the 50th commemoration of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where the 4 little Black girls lost their lives, which served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.

The bill honors the loss of four African-American children from a bombing of the 16th Street Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama 50 years ago on September 15the this year. The attack added to the civil rights movement of the times that resulted in ciil rights legislation the next year.

The Congressional Gold Medal is authorized to honor the victims.

The cost of the medals will be based on labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses as well as the cost of the gold. Duplicates of the medals will be sold and the proceeds will replenish funds spent to make the medals.

Sponsor: Rep Sewell, Terri A. [AL-7]

VOTES
House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 420 – 0 Roll Call 123
Motion to recommit. Laid on the table
Text of the motion:
Senate: 5/9/2013: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.

Presented to the President for signature.

Cost to the taxpayers: No discernible cost
Pay-as-you-go requirements: Do not apply
Regulatory impact: Do not apply
Earmark Certification: Do not apply
Constitutional Authority:
By Ms. SEWELL of Alabama:
H.R. 360.
Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant
to the following:
Article I Section 8

The Congress Finds the following:

(1) September 15, 2013 will mark 50 years since the lives of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were suddenly taken by a bomb planted in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

(2) The senseless and premature death of these 4 little Black girls sparked `The Movement that Changed the World.’

(3) On that tragic Sunday in September of 1963, the world took notice of the violence inflicted in the struggle for equal rights.

(4) The fact that 4 innocent children lost their lives as they prepared for Sunday School shook the world’s conscience.

(5) This tragedy galvanized the Civil Rights Movement and sparked a surge of momentum that helped secure the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and later the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

(6) Justice was delayed for these 4 little Black girls and their families until 2002, 39 years after the bombing, when the last of the 4 Klansmen responsible for the bombing was charged and convicted with the crime.

(7) The 4 little Black girls are emblematic of so many who have lost their lives for the cause of freedom and equality, including Virgil Ware and James Johnny Robinson who were children also killed within hours of the 1963 church bombing.

(8) The legacy that these 4 little Black girls left will live on in the minds and hearts of us all for generations to come.

(9) Their extraordinary sacrifice sparked real and lasting change as Congress began to aggressively pass legislation that ensured equality.

(10) Sixteenth Street Baptist Church remains a powerful symbol of the movement for civil and human rights and will host the 50th anniversary ceremony on Sunday, September 15, 2013.

(11) It is befitting that Congress bestow the highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, in 2013 to the 4 little Black girls, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, posthumously in recognition of the 50th commemoration of the historical significance of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

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