Chairman Cleaver’s Statement on President Obama’s Executive Order to Preserve Fort Monroe
For Immediate Release: November 1, 2011
Washington, DC - Today, Chairman Cleaver released the following statement on President Obama’s Executive Order to Preserve Fort Monroe:
“This summer, the Congressional Black Caucus strongly supported efforts to ensure Fort Monroe’s incorporation into the National Park System and today we are seeing the fruits of our labor. I commend President Obama for exercising his authority under the Antiquities Act to declare the fort a national monument thereby preserving this important American history for generations to come.
“The history of Fort Monroe provides a unique perspective on the contributions of African-Americans to American history. It was the first place African slaves arrived in the New World serving as the unofficial beginning of slavery and during the Civil War, Union soldiers used the fort to harbor slaves escaping from plantations, which meant the fort also represented the unofficial ending of slavery. This year, the United States commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and for the first time there was a more thorough review of the African American experience at Fort Monroe. Not only is the incorporation of Fort Monroe timely, it is extremely important that this American story be told. With the preservation of this fort, at least 3,000 jobs will be created and this great history preserved.”
- Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II