As duly and officially noted this 31st day of January, 2018, in the UCLA Daily Bruin Newspaper.
JACKIE ROBINSON’S 99TH BIRTHDAY.
Students, faculty, staff, and alumni of UCLA, step up to the plate for your fellow Bruins, Rachel and Jackie Robinson, by petitioning Congress through your social media contacts, and by signing the petition at www.42withinherlifetime.org.
To the United States Congress
A BILL TO SUSPEND THE RULES AND PASS LANDMARK LEGISLATION DESIGNATING APRIL 15 OF EACH YEAR AS A DAY TO COMMEMORATE APRIL 15, 1947—THE DAY JACK ROOSEVELT “JACKIE” ROBINSON AND WESLEY BRANCH RICKEY INTEGRATED MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL—MAKING IT A LEGAL PUBLIC HOLIDAY, A DAY OF HEALING, AND A DAY OF NATIONAL RECONCILIATION.
We the people request that within the lifetime of Rachel Robinson¹, the widow of Baseball Hall of Fame great Jackie Robinson, Congress take action and pass landmark legislation in both houses of Congress under suspension of the rules and by unanimous consent to amend Title 5, United States Code(5 U.S.C. § 6103), which specifies federal holidays, to make and designate April 15 a legal public holiday and a day of healing, reflection, and national reconciliation to commemorate the day (April 15, 1947) that Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson and Wesley Branch Rickey changed America (making poet Walt Whitman’s 1889 assessment that “baseball is American’s game” finally true) by integrating Major League Baseball.
Further, we request Congress to permanently extend the tax return filing day to April 16, reserving April 15 exclusively as a day for education and healing to unite the nation in the common cause of binding the wounds of the long-lasting divisions over the biological process of producing melanin and over finding a racial distinction where there is none. This would be a day of teach-ins at colleges, universities and houses of worship (for all religions and denominations) throughout the nation.
As a nation, now more than ever we (all Americans) need to have a continuous, honest conversation, and an action plan to deal with this centuries-old, simple yet agonizing conundrum regarding the notion of race and racial concepts. To be clear: We do not have a race problem in this country. What we have is a lack of education and a heart and soul problem. The Creator only created one race—the human race.
We the people, on January 31, 2018, Jackie Robinson’s 99th birthday, request that Congress take action with all deliberate speed to designate April 15 of each year a legal public holiday, by introducing a bill in both houses of Congress in the year 2018, with the effective date of Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday, January 31, 2019. The inauguration of the first observance would be on April 15, 2019, the 72nd anniversary of Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson’s grand, noble social experiment that propelled America toward greatness in human relations. We need to acknowledge and celebrate America’s triumph.
Most historians acknowledge that Rickey and Robinson’s bold, defiant action in 1947 was a seminal event in American history. It was one of the first cracks in the wall to dismantle the state-sponsored segregation and discrimination that were affirmed and codified as the law of the land in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.
Their historic action preceded President Harry Truman’s executive order desegregating the military in 1948, and it was seven years before the 1954 Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the odious “separate but equal” doctrine affirmed by their decision in Plessy v. Ferguson 58 years earlier.
Members of Congress of both parties, independents and the president of the United States, now is the time to act and pass the aforementioned proposed legislation to truly begin the process of healing the nation; “in order to form a more perfect union”.
¹Working through the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), which she and Marty Edelman, Esq., founded 45 years ago, Mrs. Robinson (an alumna of UCLA and NYU graduate school), earned her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing. She is also the progeny and sweet fruit of the Black Struggle Tree, and at 95 is the spiritual head and force of the JRF, still leading a team of men and women dedicated to the mission of equipping minority students for higher education with the tools to succeed, by mentoring and providing full-tuition scholarships. Mrs. Robinson is an extraordinary and effective educator as well as a social and civil rights advocate in her own right. By God’s grace of life, she will be 96 years old on her next birthday, July 19, 2018.
The proposed establishment Of the
Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson and Wesley Branch Rickey
Federal Holiday Commission.
Further, it is hereby requested that Congress enact a law establishing a commission to assist in the first observance of the Federal legal holiday in remembrance and commemoration of the day (April 15, 1947) that Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson and Wesley Branch Rickey changed America by integrating Major League Baseball. Making Walt Whitman’s 1889 assessment that “baseball is American’s game” finally true.
Such a holiday (April 15 of each year) reserved exclusively for education and healing of the long-lasting centuries-old, simple yet agonizing conundrum and divisions over the notion of race and racial concepts. And our acute misunderstanding of the Creator’s infinite wisdom—the critical and essential biological process of producing melanin for the very survival of the human specie—Homo sapiens.
The effective date of the new law would be Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday, January 31, 2019. The inauguration of the first observance would be on April 15, 2019, the 72nd anniversary of Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson’s grand, noble social experiment that propelled America toward greatness in human relations.
The Act shall establish a commission to be known as the Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson and Wesley Branch Rickey Federal Holiday Commission.
The purposes of the Commission are,
(1) to encourage appropriate ceremonies and activities establishment throughout the United States relating to the first observance of the Federal legal holiday commemorating the day (April 15, 1947) that the Robinsons and Branch Rickey changed America by integrating Major League Baseball. A day exclusively for education to eradicate erroneous notions about race and racial concepts that has caused long-lasting divisions in our nation which occurs on April 15, 2019; and
(2) to provide advice and assistance to Federal, State, and local governments and to private organizations with respect to the observance of such holiday.
(3) The Commission shall be composed of four officers from the executive branch, appointed by the President; (2) four Members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in consultation with the minority leader of the House of Representatives;
(4) four Senators, appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate in consultation with the majority and minority leaders of the Senate;
(5) Rachel A. Robinson and two other members of the family surviving JackRoosevelt “Jackie” Robinson, appointed by such family;
(6) two individuals representing the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) (a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York), appointed by the board of directors of the JRF; and
(7) Branch Rickey III, the grandson of Branch Rickey and two other members of the family surviving Wesley Branch Rickey, appointed by such family;
(8) Jeffrey L. “Jeff” Idelson president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and two individuals representing the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The National Baseball Hall of Fame is a nonprofit committed to preserving the history of America’s pastime.
(9) Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr., president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. He the leader of the ownership group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.
(10) Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Baseball and two team owners representing Major League Baseball appointed by the commissioner.
(11) ten individuals other than officers or employees of the United States or Members of Congress, appointed by the members of the Commission under paragraphs.
(a) Members of the Commission shall serve without pay, but will be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.
The Commission shall first meet within 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. At this first meeting the Commission shall elect a chairperson from among its members and shall meet thereafter at the call of the chairperson.
The Commission may encourage the participation of, and accept, use, and dispose of donations of money, property, and personal services from, individuals and public and private organizations to assist the Commission in carrying out its responsibilities under this Act.
MR. PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS,
NOW IS THE TIME FOR BIPARTISANSHIP AND
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (Hall of Fame) is where the hallowed halls were erected in Cooperstown, New York, to honor and to pay tribute to the greatest of the game, and to preserve its history.
The following video is one such tribute to Jackie Robinson and his legacy, as well as the preservation of that history. However, if you look and listen closely it’s really a tribute to America and to its promise and indomitable spirit. It was published April 13, 2011, on YouTube by the Hall of Fame.