Bill Text: MS HC40 | 2019 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Request the joint committee on the Library of Congress to approve the replacement of the statue of James Zachariah George.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2019-03-29 - Died In Committee [HC40 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-HC40-Introduced.html


2019 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative DeLano

House Concurrent Resolution 40


     WHEREAS, the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol is comprised of 100 statues contributed by 50 states to honor persons notable in each state's history; and

     WHEREAS, thirty-five statues are now displayed in National Statuary Hall while others have been placed in other parts of the Capitol, including the Crypt, the Hall of Columns, and the Capitol Visitor Center; and

     WHEREAS, Mississippi has representational statues of Jefferson Davis and James Zachariah George displayed, which were crafted by Augustus Lukeman and dedicated in 1931; and

     WHEREAS, Jefferson Davis, who authored Rise and Fall of the Confederated States, served in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, was President of the Confederate States, and eventually made his home at Beauvoir, near Biloxi, Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, James Zachariah George, Mississippi's "Great Commoner," was a Confederate colonel who served on the Mississippi Supreme Court and represented Mississippi in the United States Senate, helped frame the future Sherman Anti-Trust Act, served as a member of the Mississippi Constitutional Convention of 1890 and successfully defended the constitution before the Senate and the Supreme Court; and

     WHEREAS, both men are important figures who reflect similar times, but do not necessarily reflect the unified and progressive spirit encompassing the Mississippi of today, as it is Mississippi's sentimental desire to respect and celebrate the past while honoring its evolution from past icons to present icons; and

     WHEREAS, world renowned icon and highly acclaimed blues legend Riley Benjamin King, better known as B.B. King, was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi, and defined blues for a worldwide audience, while releasing over 50 albums since the 1940s; and

     WHEREAS, this notable Mississippian, who developed the world's most identifiable guitar styles, was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, earned numerous awards and distinctions, owned three clubs and restaurants in Tennessee, New York and Los Angeles, and toured extensively averaging 250 concerts per year around the world until health issues impeded his ability to do so; and

     WHEREAS, 2 USC Section 2132 allows a state to request the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress to approve the removal of a previously placed statue from the collection and the replacement of it with an equally suitable and socially inclusive display representative of the entirety of the state's diverse citizenry; and

     WHEREAS, a request from a state for replacement may only be considered if the request has been approved by resolution adopted by the Legislature of the state and the request has been approved by the Governor of the state, and the statue to be replaced has been displayed in the Capitol for at least 10 years at the time the request is made, unless the Joint Committee waives this requirement for cause at the request of a state; and

     WHEREAS, if the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress approves a request, the architect of the Capitol shall enter into an agreement with the state to carry out the replacement in accordance with the request and any conditions that the Joint Committee may require for its approval, and such agreement shall provide that the new statue shall be subject to the same conditions and restrictions as applied to any statue provided by a state under 2 USC Section 2131 and the state shall pay any costs related to the replacement, including costs in connection with the design, construction, transportation, and placement of the new statue, the removal and transportation of the statue being replaced and any unveiling ceremony; and

     WHEREAS, several states have chosen to replace existing statues, thereby including representations of Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Thomas Edison and Helen Keller; and

     WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislature desires to replace the statue of James Zachariah George with a statue of blues legend B.B. King, to reflect the transformative power of Mississippi from its past to its present; and

     WHEREAS, we request the Governor of the State of Mississippi to affirm the efforts of this Legislature by issuing a proclamation or statement approving the request for the replacement of the statue, and to create a commission of Mississippi artisans and artists who are authorized to solicit and collect private contributions for the creation and placement of the B.B. King statue; and

     WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon this Legislature to pursue the interests of its citizens by ensuring that statues representing our state wholly depict the astounding strides made by all citizens, particularly in this instance when the state itself bears the moniker of being the "birthplace of America's music" and there has been no better ambassador of our state than the distinguished and incomparable B.B. King:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby submit this formal request to the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress to approve the replacement of the statue of James Zachariah George with a statue of blues legend Riley Benjamin "B.B." King in the Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress, to the members of the Mississippi Congressional delegation and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.