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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
50Th Anniversary Of Voting Rights Act July 28, 2015
Dan Kildee, D-MI
"Instead of working to ensure that every American has the right to vote, we have seen more efforts to suppress votes, disenfranchising hard-working Americans; yet on the floor, we have had, at the same time, our entire appropriations process held up because of the fear of the Republicans that they may have to cast a vote on whether or not we should display the Confederate battle flag in the year 2015."
Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 427, Regulations From The Executive In Need Of Scrutiny Act Of 2015; Providing For Proceedings During The Period From July 30, 2015, Through September 7, 2015… July 28, 2015
Alcee Hastings, D-FL
"The name of this bill at least flirts with being clever, I will give the majority that. But let me tell you that we really need to rein in around here. We need to rein in a Republican-led Congress that will no longer bring the remaining appropriations bills to the floor because it is more dedicated to seeing the Confederate flag fly high. I really don’t understand that."
In Recognition Of The 54Th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment July 20, 2015
Bill Keating, D-MA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Established in 1863 as one of the first military units comprised of entirely African American soldiers to fight in the Civil War for the Union, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment will further be memorialized with the unveiling of a historic mural in New Bedford, Massachusetts. While the declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 provided an avenue for free black men to serve as soldiers, it remained the responsibility of state governors to raise regiments for federal service. Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrews became the first governor in the nation to authorize an all-African American voluntary infantry regiment. In three months’ time, the regiment had grown to consist of over 1,000 enlisted volunteers from across the Commonwealth, united under the command of Robert Gould Shaw, a white officer. Included among the regiment’s enlistees were none other than Charles and Lewis Douglass—two sons of the well-known writer and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, as well as the first African American Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and one of New Bedford’s most famous sons, Sergeant William H. Carney. It was not long after its formation that the 54th Massachusetts Regiment earned the fighting recognition it had anticipated. Following a joyous parade and honorary celebration in the streets of Boston in May 1863, the regiment headed south to the hostile coast of South Carolina. By July 18, 1863, after several days of fighting on little sleep, food or water, the regiment prepared for an assault on Fort Wagner, which protected the Port of Charleston. Tragically, due to a fatal miscalculation of the number of Confederate troops, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment saw over 280 of its men killed, wounded, or captured during the siege on Fort Wagner, including Colonel Shaw. However, not all was lost. It was during this battle that the severely wounded Sergeant William H. Carney saved the regiment’s flag from being captured by Confederate troops. Upon his return to his regiment, he famously shouted, “The Old Flag never touched the ground!” For these heroic actions, Sergeant Carney became the first African American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The courage, bravery, and dedication demonstrated by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment over 150 years ago lives on in the pride of our community. Now, thanks to the partnership of the New Bedford Historical Society, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Artworks, and the New Bedford National Historical Park, residents of and visitors to the City of New Bedford will further celebrate the memory of Sergeant Carney and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment with a mural depicting the gallant men of the Regiment in the exact spot where local New Bedford volunteers enlisted throughout the Civil War. Mr. Speaker, it brings me great pleasure to recognize the unveiling of this historic mural and to call attention yet again to the bravery and dedication of the men who served in the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry."
Congressional Black Caucus July 16, 2015
Barbara Lee, D-CA
"In the wake of this senseless tragedy, Americans all over the country are asking: why do we still celebrate the Confederate battle flag? The confederate battle flag is a true symbol of hate and discrimination."
Legislative Program July 16, 2015
Steny Hoyer, D-MD
"Mr. Leader, let me go to another subject. The gentleman moved, on two occasions, to refer to the House Administration Committee legislation which related to the use of the Confederate battle flag. Both of those issues are now pending in the House Administration Committee. One of them has been there for some 3 weeks now."

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