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House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Preserve Little Rock, Arkansas Historic Site


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2017 -

Today, the House passed H.R. 2611, the “Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Boundary Modification Act.” Introduced by Rep. French Hill (R-AR), the bill modifies the boundary of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas to include seven residences in the immediate proximity of the high school.

“This legislation preserves iconic sites that served as a backdrop during a pivotal moment in our nation’s civil rights movement. I commend Rep. Hill for his commitment to ensuring that these landmarks are preserved so that future generations can reflect upon the people, places and events that encapsulate this historic moment in our history,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.

“Just ahead of the historic 60th anniversary, we’re commemorating the Little Rock Nine and their brave role in the fight for equality. As we celebrate, this legislation that passed the House today ensures the proper historical inclusion of the seven homes located across South Park Street from Little Rock Central High School,Rep. Hill stated.Together with the school, they will now stand as living monuments to the civil rights movement in Arkansas and the United States. Preserving the streetscape as close as it was in 1957 serves as a historic reminder for all modern-day history travelers retracing the steps of the civil rights movement.  

“I thank my colleague, civil rights pioneer, and courageous leader, John Lewis, for his cosponsorship. I also thank our Majority Leader, Chairman Bishop, and the Natural Resources Committee for their expeditious treatment of this important measure. I’m grateful to my friend and colleague, Senator Cotton, for his leadership in initiating and shepherding this effort and the companion bill S.1202 in the Senate. I look forward to President Trump signing this bill, and again recognizing that we have to embrace our past and learn from our history,” Rep. Hill added.

Background:

In 1957, nine black students enrolled at the formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, testing the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

H.R. 2611 amends Public Law 105-356 to modify the boundary of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas to include seven residences on South Park Street in Little Rock, which consist of approximately 1.47 acres. Additionally, the bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into separate cooperative agreements with the owners of such residences to mark, interpret, improve, restore, and provide technical assistance for the preservation and interpretation of their properties.

All the property owners and several community members have expressed their support for this proposal, including the Central High Neighborhood, Inc. and Preserve Arkansas.

Click here for additional information on H.R. 2611.


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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