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The agency will have no power to pledge the credit of either New York or New Jersey or to impose any obligation upon either State or political subdivision without further legislation. The compact terminates the existence of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit Commission which was created in 1954, and all of its records and files are to be turned over to the new transportation agency. The new agency shall exist until June 30, 1961, but the duration of its existence may be continued thereafter as provided for in concurrent legislation.
Under section 2 of the bill, the consent of Congress is granted. subject to certain conditions. Insofar as this joint resolution is concerned, the right to alter, amend, or repeal it is expressly reserved. The consent of Congress as granted under this resolution shall terminate not later than June 30, 1961. In addition, all "concurrent legislation" amending or supplementing this compact shall be submitted to Congress for its consent before such legislation becomes effective. The transportation agency shall also submit to the Congress the same reports as it is required by the compact to make to the Governors. and legislatures of those States. Congress also reserves the right to require disclosure and furnishing of such information and data as it may deem appropriate, including all books and records of the agency as well as the right of inspection of any facilities being used or under the control of the agency. Finally, there is a specific reservation that the compact or this joint resolution shall not be construed so as to impair or in any manner affect the right or jurisdiction of the Government of the United States or any of its departments, agencies, or bureaus having regulatory or administrative power over interstate or foreign commerce.
The entire compact is set forth in section 1 of this bill.
86TH CONGRESS 1st Session
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT No. 612
EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE CONGRESS WITH RESPECT TO THE RECOGNITION OF THE GRAVE OF SAMUEL WILSON, PROGENITOR OF THE SYMBOL "UNCLE SAM," IN OAKWOOD CEMETERY, TROY, N.Y., AS A NATIONAL SHRINE
JUNE 30, 1959.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mrs. PrOST, from the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, submitted the following
[To accompany H. Con Res. 106]
The Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, to whom was referred the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 106) expressing the sense of the Congress with respect to the recognition of the grave of Samuel Wilson, progenitor of the symbol "Uncle Sam," in Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, N.Y., as a national shrine, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the concurrent resolution do pass.
The committee considered House Concurrent Resolution 104 by Representative O'Brien and House Concurrent Resolution 106 by Representative Taylor. These are identical measures providing that it is the sense of Congress that the grave of Samuel Wilson, progenitor of the symbol "Uncle Sam," marked by a bronze tablet in the Oakwood Cemetery at Troy, N.Y., be recognized as a national shrine.
The adoption of House Concurrent Resolution 106 as reported by the committee would recognize the grave of Samuel Wilson as a national shrine.
The recognition of this grave as a national shrine does not establish a new element in the national park system and does not authorize the administration of the site by the National Park Service. No expenditure of Federal funds would be involved. The care and
administration of the site would remain and continue to be the responsibility of the administrators of the Oakwood Cemetery.
Prompt action by the Congress in this session has been requested since September 13 is the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Wilson and that date has been set aside by a resolution of the New York State Legislature as "Uncle Sam Day." Also, 1959 will mark the celebration in New York State of the 350th anniversary of the voyages of Champlain and Hudson. This event was recognized in the 85th Congress by the establishment of a Federal commission to advance the purposes of this celebration.
The adoption of House Concurrent Resolution 106 would be an expression of the determination of the Congress to continue the tradition and heritage of the symbol "Uncle Sam."
The pages of history indicate the patriotism, friendliness, and perseverance of Samuel Wilson of Troy, N.Y., who is the progenitor of this national symbol. "Uncle Sam" Wilson embodied the national aspirations of an emerging United States over 100 years ago.
"Uncle Sam" is only a symbol but that symbol should be enshrined in the hearts of Americans for all time. It is therefore fitting for the Congress to insure that the grave of the man who inspired the symbol he perpetuated in the years ahead.
The testimony before the committee indicated that some writers have attacked the symbol "Uncle Sam" as being archaic and have suggested that it should be abandoned. The enactment of this resolution would be an expression of the determination of Congress not to yield to forces which would destroy this enduring symbol.
The continuing need for the symbol "Uncle Sam" is illustrated in a statement by Bernard C. Hains, executive of the Uncle Sam Council of the Boy Scouts of America of Troy, N.Y. Mr. Hains stated:
The reasons for selecting "Uncle Sam" for their name has a bearing on the purposes of our testimony at this congressional hearing.
(1) A symbol was needed to unify all members of the council regardless of their particular community or geographical location. "Uncle Sam" was widely accepted and recognized as a symbol of America, and of all America.
(2) A personality was needed that all boys could emulate. I think today we saw that on the Capitol steps. "Uncle Sam" Wilson was a man of high ideals and a solid citizen.
(3) A human personality was needed so that boys could picture their council as a personality-warm, human, and sincere one with high ideals and of good character-"Uncle Sam" has long been recognized as such.
The need for this legislation is further indicated in a resolution submitted by the National Society of United States Daughters of 1812, which follows:
Whereas the figure of "Uncle Sam" has for many years symbolized the homespun virtues of this country; and
Whereas it has recently been suggested that "Uncle Sam" be scrapped as archaic, as obviously of the breed of those men
marching on Concord, as not symbolizing the cosmopolitan-
Whereas the Legislature of the State of New York has
Whereas the Honorable Leo W. O'Brien and the Honorable Dean P. Taylor, both of New York State, have introduced into the House of Representatives House concurrent resolution 104 and House concurrent resolution 106, respectively, both "expressing the sense of the Congress with respect to the recognition of the Grave of Samuel Wilson, progenitor of the symbol 'Uncle Sam,' in Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, N.Y., as a national shrine": Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the National Society, United States Daughters of 1812, in support of this national symbol and to honor one who did his duty during the 1812 period, respectfully urge the Congress to adopt one of these resolutions.
Another statement attesting to the need for enactment was submitted by the Eastern Regional Council of the United States Flag Committee, as follows:
The United States Flag Committee supports_House Concurrent Resolution 106 and House Concurrent Resolution 104 and requests favorable recognition be given them by this committee, also that the resolution be brought out on the floor for a speedy and affirmative vote by Congress.
Today, nothing can be taken for granted, if we wish to insure its safety. This is particularly true with reference to our American traditions and all that represents our American heritage. Almost daily, further efforts are being made to weaken and finally destroy the freedom Americans have inherited. Unless we take proper steps to protect our precious traditions, the time may not be afar off when we will possess them no longer.
When a vicious and unwarranted attack was made recently on our traditional symbol, "Uncle Sam," known the world over as representing the United States of America, that sounded a warning that further such attacks would continue unless some action could be taken to prevent them. In House Concurrent Resolution 106 we have the proper means of accomplishing the proper action through congressional measure, to lastingly protect our symbol "Uncle Sam," by officially marking the grave of Samuel Wilson, the progenitor of "Uncle Sam," a national shrine.
Since no congressional action was ever taken to make this symbol "Uncle Sam" official and permanent, we believe the time has arrived when such action needs to be taken. attack a symbol is to attack all that it symbolizes, and "Uncle Sam" represents very much the same in the minds and hearts of our people as does our flag, the Stars and Stripes. There are undoubtedly those in our midst who will continue to attack and criticize our symbols and traditions including