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Two congressional medals approved

hor.jpgTwo congressional gold medals were approved by the U.S. House of Representatives June 10, sending them to the President for an expected signature.

Other bills clearing the House still need to be ratified by the Senate.
Former U.S. Sen. Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts, who is 89, would receive a gold medal as well as Constantino Brumidi, who is known as the artist of the Capitol Building for his 19th century work.

Brooke was the first African American to be elected to the Senate by popular vote. This occurred in 1966. He served two terms, leaving office in 1979.

In 1973 Brooke played a role that led to the striking of 40-percent silver clad coinage for the Bicentennial in addition to the copper-nickel clad circulating coins.

Brumidi designed and decorated one House and five Senate committee rooms in the Capitol, as well as the Senate Reception Room, the office of the vice president, and, most notably, the President?s Room, which represents Brumidi?s supreme effort ?to make beautiful the Capitol of the United States.?

 In 1865, Brumidi completed in just 11 months his fresco masterpiece, ?The Apotheosis of Washington,? in the eye of the Capitol dome ? being built and decorated even as the Civil War raged. Six years later, in 1871,  Brumidi created the first tribute to an African American in the Capitol when he placed the figure of Crispus Attucks at the center of his fresco of the Boston Massacre.

On Feb.  19, 1880, Brumidi died at the age of 74, four and a half months after slipping and nearly falling from a scaffold while working on the Rotunda frieze. Prior to his death he said, ?My one ambition and my daily prayer is that I may live long enough to make beautiful the Capitol of the one country on earth in which there is liberty.??

Measures that need Senate action call for a silver dollar coin honoring America?s infantry, H.R. 3229, and the centennial of Mother?s Day, H.R. 2268.

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