Posted on May 1, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander today attended "We the People," a White House Forum on American History, Civics and Service at the National Museum of American History. "I applaud President Bush for emphasizing the importance of teaching our children American history and civics." Alexander said. "It is critical for students to learn the principles that unite us as Americans." The forum, announced by the President in a Rose Garden ceremony last September, featured a variety of speakers including Mrs. Laura Bush, Mrs. Lynne Cheney, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Historian David McCullough. John Bridgeland, executive director of President George W. Bush's USA Freedom Corps, praised the senator's efforts to improve the teaching of American history and civics. "These historic times have prompted renewed efforts from all three branches of our federal government to teach our youth the history of America and meaning of freedom," Bridgeland said. "We are pleased to have Senator Lamar Alexander with us today and with us in the effort to teach our children history and help them learn it well." Last month, Alexander chaired a hearing in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on his first bill proposal, "The American History and Civics Act of 2003." The legislation creates summer residential academies for teachers and students based on the successful Governor's School program in Tennessee that Alexander implemented as governor. Alexander's bill is co-sponsored by 20 other senators including Sens. Bill Frist (R-TN), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Harry Reid (D-NV), Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Congressman Roger Wicker (R-MS) sponsors the bill in the House.