At the time, I was an intern for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and was following the bill carefully. It's fair to say I was rather devoted to the cause. I remember the October day that someone in the office mentioned that the senator's speechwriter, Bob Shrum, had crafted an incredible statement in support of the holiday. I begged for permission to go to the galleries above the Senate floor to watch Kennedy deliver the speech.
The galleries and the Senate were nearly empty when Kennedy walked onto the floor. I saw only three members -- Kennedy, the senator who was presiding, and Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who was speaking against the holiday.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Here's an article from today's Washington Post by Allison Silberberg (who was in the Theatre program at UCLA when I was there) about the origins of today's holiday: