Memphis Commercial Appeal - Bartholomew Sullivan
WASHINGTON -- As soon as President Bush signs the bill, the federal building in Downtown Memphis will bear the name of the late U.S. Dist. Judge Odell Horton.
The Senate passed a House-Senate conference report Tuesday night containing the provision by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. The House passed it on March 26.
The entire Tennessee House and Senate delegation supported the change, which will make the North Main landmark the Clifford Davis and Odell Horton Federal Building.
Horton, who died last year at age 77, was the first African-American bankruptcy judge and the first black federal district judge in Memphis when he was sworn in in 1980. Davis was a long-serving congressman from Memphis.
"The decision to keep the names of both men on the building is a symbol of the transition of Memphis and across the South," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. "It reminds us that America is committed to equal opportunity but has been, and will be for a long time, a work in progress."