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Two gold medal bills advance in Senate action

The Senate has passed legislation seeking a gold medal recognizing Emmett Till, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.

Images courtesy of Library of Congress.

Legislative action Jan. 10 in the U.S. Senate moved two bills seeking separate congressional gold medals closer to enactment.

S. 450, originally introduced March 25, 2021, by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., seeks a posthumous gold medal to recognize 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was kidnapped and lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store, and the relentless efforts by his mother Mamie Till-Mobley to secure justice. The Senate passed S. 450 on Jan. 10 and it now moves to the House for consideration.

Should the legislation be enacted, following the award presentation, the medal would be given to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

An identical bill, H.R. 2252, was introduced in the House March 26, 2021, by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill.

S. 3448, introduced Jan. 10, 2022, by Sen. Raphael G. Warnock, D-Ga., seeks a congressional gold medal to recognize the Freedom Riders, collectively, “in recognition of their unique contribution to Civil Rights, which inspired a revolutionary movement for equality in interstate travel.”

The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961 and subsequent years, to challenge the nonenforcement of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions Morgan v. Virginia and Boynton v. Virginia, which ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional.

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