RECOGNIZING 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ``TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD''; Congressional Record Vol. 156, No. 114
(Extensions of Remarks - July 30, 2010)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1523]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                               speech of

                         HON. LAURA RICHARDSON

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, July 26, 2010

  Ms. RICHARDSON. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. 
Res. 1525, which recognizes the 50th anniversary of the classic novel 
To Kill a Mockingbird, which was written by Nelle Harper Lee of 
Monroeville, Alabama. This novel has become an American classic and 
every year thousands of students across the country read it and grapple 
with the significant moral issues that it raises.
  I thank Chairman Towns for his leadership in bringing this bill to 
the floor. I would also like to thank Congressman Bonner for 
introducing this important measure.
  Growing up in Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee was no stranger to the 
racial injustice of the American South in the first half of the 20th 
Century. In 1960, she decided to publish a novel channeling the racial 
climate she experienced during her youth. This novel, To Kill a 
Mockingbird, is considered one of the greatest American novels of our 
time. Its depiction of racial inequality as seen through the eyes of a 
child offers a unique and insightful view of American race relations in 
the segregated South.
  Madam Speaker, when I was growing up, students across the country 
read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. While discussing the novel 
with one of my interns, Brittni Hamilton, I learned that she read the 
novel as early as middle school. I guess such a classic novel that 
raises such important issues about the social and moral character of 
our nation cannot wait until high school any longer. In any case, I am 
pleased that all the young people in our nation are exposed to the 
timeless moral lessons of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  Madam Speaker, Harper Lee's novel is classic. In addition to winning 
a Pulitzer Prize, To Kill a Mockingbird has also earned Harper Lee 
induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the 
Presidential Medal of Freedom. Since first being published in 1960, it 
has sold over 30 million copies. I am proud that our nation continues 
to cherish and appreciate this landmark literary achievement.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution.