This bill would direct the Dept. of the Interior to study sites associated with the life and legacy of Julius Rosenwald, a part owner and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company and noted philanthropist. Rosenwald helped finance construction of 5,357 schools in 15 Southern states from 1912 and 1932. The study would evaluate the national significance of the sites with particular emphasis on certain Rosenwald Schools, and determine the feasibility of designating the sites as a unit of the National Park System, including an interpretive center in or near Chicago, Illinois.
What is House Bill H.R. 3250?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 3250
In-Depth: Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) offered a statement on his introduction of this bill to study the feasibility of a National Park System unit honoring the legacy of Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Schools when it received a subcommittee hearing. Davis’s statement read in part:
“It is reported that President Lincoln used to quote Henry Peter Brougham by saying, “Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” I know the importance of Mr. Rosenwald’s work to bring education to African Americans in the rural South, embodying the spirit of Lincoln’s words. Many of the small towns where African Americans lived during his time had no school at all, and, if they had one, it only went to the sixth or eighth grade. Although I did not attend a Rosenwald School, I know the impact of their presence for African Americans in the segregated south in the post-Reconstruction era. As one who has lived in and represents the area where Sears Roebuck was headquartered, I also understand the importance of Mr. Rosenwald’s influence on the cultural and economic development of Chicago and this nation.”
This legislation passed the House Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent and has the support of 43 bipartisan cosponsors, including 35 Democrats and eight Republicans. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) sponsored this bill’s Senate companion, which is cosponsored by eight Democrats and one Republican.
Of Note: Booker T. Washington encouraged Julius Rosenwald to try to improve the state of African-American education in the U.S., which was hampered by buildings and books that were inadequate during the early 1900s. Rosenwald and the fund he established donated millions of dollars toward the construction of public schools and higher education facilities for African-Americans, in addition to several other endeavors aimed at lessening the impact of anti-black and anti-Jewish racism.
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: SaveRivers via Wikimedia / Creative Commons)
Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Schools Act of 2020
To require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the sites associated with the life and legacy of the noted American philanthropist and business executive Julius Rosenwald, with a special focus on the Rosenwald Schools, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate Passed December 21st, 2020Passed by Voice Vote
- The house Passed December 17th, 2020Roll Call Vote 387 Yea / 5 Nay
National Parks, Forests, and Public LandsCommittee on Natural ResourcesIntroducedJune 13th, 2019
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