Text: H.R.4527 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/23/2000)

[Congressional Bills 106th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4527 Introduced in House (IH)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 4527

  To authorize the President to present a gold medal on behalf of the 
      Congress to the Navajo Code Talkers in recognition of their 
                      contributions to the Nation.



                              May 23, 2000

    Mr. Udall of New Mexico (for himself and Mr. Udall of Colorado) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                     Banking and Financial Services


                                 A BILL

  To authorize the President to present a gold medal on behalf of the 
      Congress to the Navajo Code Talkers in recognition of their 
                      contributions to the Nation.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
    This Act may be cited as the ``Honoring the Navajo Code Talkers 


    Congress finds the following:
            (1) On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl 
        Harbor and war was declared by Congress the following day.
            (2) The military code, developed by the United States for 
        transmitting messages, had been deciphered by the Japanese and 
        a search by United States military intelligence was made to 
        develop new means to counter the enemy.
            (3) The United States Government called upon the Navajo 
        Nation to support the military effort by recruiting and 
        enlisting 29 Navajo men to serve as Marine Corps radio 
        operators; the number of enlistees later increased to over 350.
            (4) At the time, the Navajos were second-class citizens, 
        and they were a people who were discouraged from using their 
        own language.
            (5) The Navajo Marine Corps radio operators, who became 
        known as the Navajo Code Talkers, were used to develop a code 
        using their language to communicate military messages in the 
            (6) To the enemy's frustration, the code developed by these 
        Native Americans proved to be unbreakable and was used 
        extensively throughout the Pacific theater.
            (7) The Navajo language, discouraged in the past, was 
        instrumental in developing the most significant and successful 
        military code of the time. At Iwo Jima alone, the Navajo Code 
        Talkers passed over 800 error-free messages in a 48-hour 
                    (A) So successful were they, that military 
                commanders credited the code with saving the lives of 
                countless American soldiers and the successful 
                engagements of the United States in the battles of 
                Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa;
                    (B) So successful were they, that some Code Talkers 
                were guarded by fellow marines whose role was to kill 
                them in case of imminent capture by the enemy; and
                    (C) So successful were they, that the code was kept 
                secret for 23 years after the end of World War II.
            (8) Following the conclusion of World War II, the 
        Department of Defense maintained the secrecy of the Navajo code 
        until it was declassified in 1968; only then did a realization 
        of the sacrifice and valor of these brave Native Americans 
        emerge from history.


    (a) Presentation Authorized.--The President is authorized to 
present to each of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, or a surviving 
family member, on behalf of the Congress, a gold medal of appropriate 
design, honoring the Navajo Code Talkers. The President is further 
authorized to present to each man who qualified as a Navajo Code Talker 
(MOS 642), or a surviving family member, a silver medal with suitable 
emblems and devices. These medals are to express recognition by the 
United States of America and its citizens in honoring the Navajo Code 
Talkers who distinguished themselves in performing a unique, highly 
successful communications operation that greatly assisted in saving 
countless lives and in hastening the end of World War II in the 
    (b) Design and Striking.--For the purposes of the presentation 
referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter 
in this Act referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall strike gold and 
silver medals with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be 
determined by the Secretary.


    The Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold 
medal struck pursuant to section 3 under such regulations as the 
Secretary may prescribe, and at a price sufficient to cover the costs 
thereof, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and 
overhead expenses, and the cost of the gold medal.


    The medals struck pursuant to this Act are national medals for 
purposes of chapter 51, of title 31, United States Code.


    (a) Authority To Use Fund Amounts.--There is authorized to be 
charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund an amount 
not to exceed $30,000 to pay for the costs of the medals authorized by 
this Act.
    (b) Proceeds of Sale.--Amounts received from the sale of duplicate 
bronze medals under section 3 shall be deposited in the United States 
Mint Public Enterprise Fund.

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