Friday, May 04, 2007

Oliver Hill's 100th birthday

From Jessica Smith in Sen. Jim Webb’s office:

“Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and John W. Warner (R-VA) this week applauded the unanimous passage of a Senate Resolution honoring the life of Oliver White Hill, ‘a pioneer in the field of American civil right law, on the occasion of his 100th birthday.’ Senator Webb will join hundreds of Hill’s friends and family on Friday night in Richmond to present Hill the official Congressional Record.

“‘It is with immense pride and an even greater sense of humility that I filed this resolution honoring the life and work of Mr. Hill,’ said Senator Webb. ‘Oliver Hill’s commitment to equality and fairness is a shining example of what a person can achieve with courage and conviction.’

“‘His tireless efforts to end discrimination everywhere through his Foundation have grown a new generation of lawyers to continue his legendary civil rights work for years to come,’ continued Webb.

“Senator Warner said, ‘I am proud that this champion of civil rights is a fellow Virginian whom I have come to know personally over these many years. Without a doubt, the legacy of Oliver Hill’s remarkable career in support of equal rights will continue to be felt through the determination of the many Americans he mentored and inspired. It is a great privilege to join Senator Webb in honoring Oliver Hill with this Resolution.’

“At his 100th birthday celebration dinner, Oliver Hill will be recognized for his service to the nation in the advancement of civil rights. Among his many accomplishments, Oliver Hill was a key lawyer in the historic Supreme Court case, Brown vs. Board of Education, appointed by President Truman to study racism in the United States, and left his law practice to serve his country in the Armed Forces during World War II.”

On a personal note: When I’ve seen Oliver Hill in the last few years, it has felt like being close to a saint. There are always adoring people standing near him and gazing at him in awe with respect and admiration. And, for good reason. I hope I live long enough to see a statue of him unveiled on Monument Avenue.

Happy Birthday, sir.

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