Alexander, Corker Statements on Committee Passage of Green McAdoo Bill

Posted on May 7, 2008

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today released the following statements regarding the inclusion of the Green McAdoo National Historic Site Study Act (S. 2207) in a package of approximately 50 public lands bills that was approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee today. “The Clinton 12 bravely stood up and became the first students to enter a desegregated public high school in the South,” Alexander said. “I think it is very important to honor the story of the Clinton 12 and what the Tennessee community did a year before Little Rock Central by making this site part of the National Park System. The action taken today is the next step in that direction. I’m glad to join Senator Corker, Congressman Wamp and Congressman Lewis in offering this legislation, and I hope the full Senate will act swiftly to pass it.” “I’m very pleased the Energy Committee has passed the bill to begin the process of making the Green McAdoo School - the first desegregated public high school in the South – part of our National Park System,” Corker said. “The Green McAdoo story is about progress, bravery, and the power of a small group of committed citizens who seized an opportunity to make their community and this country stronger. Today, the ‘Clinton 12’ remind us that we all have that same power to bring about positive change. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill passed by the full Senate.” The Green McAdoo National Historic Site Study Act of 2007 (S. 2207) would direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasibility of designating the Green McAdoo School as a unit of the National Park System. Upon receiving the designation, the site would become part of the 391-unit National Park System and receive federal funding for operational costs. It also would earn national recognition as part of the National Park System’s mission to preserve and protect the natural and cultural history of America. The Green McAdoo Cultural Center, located in the Green McAdoo School building in Clinton, Tennessee, highlights the history of the formerly segregated all-black Green McAdoo School and all-white Clinton High School. Both played a vital role in the school desegregation crisis that preceded and followed the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. On August 27, 1956, twelve students from the Green McAdoo School, later dubbed the “Clinton 12,” met at the school before walking together to the all-white Clinton High School to become the first African-American students to integrate a southern, state-operated school. In 2006, to mark the 50th anniversary of that historic walk, Senator Alexander and then-Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) secured $750,000 for the city of Clinton to jump-start renovations to transform the school into a cultural museum as part of the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, and Housing & Urban Development appropriations bill. Senators Alexander, Corker and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) introduced S. 2207 in October. Similar legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.-03) and John Lewis (D-Ga.). Having won committee approval, S. 2207 now awaits further action by the full Senate. ###