|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||March 4, 2008|
|Contact:||Lindsay Bartsh, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 415.989.9921 x22|
House Passes Bill to Make Port Chicago a Full Unit of the National Park System
Press Statement by Thomas C. Kiernan, President, National Parks Conservation Association
"Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that will incorporate Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial as a full unit of our National Park System – enhancing the ability of the site to receive needed federal funding to share the important story of Port Chicago with the public.
"H.R. 3111, introduced under the leadership of Rep. George Miller (D-CA), with 17 cosponsors, will elevate Port Chicago – the site of the largest U.S. home front disaster during World War II - from an affiliated park site to a full unit of the National Park System.
"The Port Chicago explosion at the naval magazine killed 320 men, 202 of whom were African-American. The explosion, work stoppage, and subsequent mutiny trial provide insights into the injustice of racial discrimination, the African-American experience in the U.S. military, and home front life during the Second World War. These events ultimately led to the desegregation of the armed services in the United States.
"We thank Rep. Miller for his longstanding commitment to national recognition of this significant part of American history, and we applaud the House Natural Resources Committee and the full House of Representatives for helping ensure that the lessons and history of racial and social injustice at Port Chicago are shared with America. We now look to the U.S. Senate to take up and pass this important legislation."