Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 657
                                                       
115th Congress   }                                           {   Report
                                   SENATE
 2d Session      }                                           {  115-370

======================================================================



 
           MEDGAR AND MYRLIE EVERS HOME NATIONAL MONUMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 15, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4895]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (H.R. 4895) to establish the Medgar Evers 
Home National Monument in the State of Mississippi, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and an 
amendment to the title and recommends that the bill, as 
amended, do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    1. Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home 
National Monument Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) College.--The term ``College'' means Tougaloo College, a 
        private educational institution located in Tougaloo, 
        Mississippi.
          (2) Historic District.--The term ``Historic District'' means 
        the Medgar Evers Historic District, as included on the National 
        Register of Historic Places, and as generally depicted on the 
        Map.
          (3) Map.--The term ``Map'' means the map entitled ``Medgar 
        and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument'', numbered 515/142561, 
        and dated September 2018.
          (4) Monument.--The term ``Monument'' means the Medgar and 
        Myrlie Evers Home National Monument established by section 3.
          (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior, acting through the Director of the National Park 
        Service.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF MEDGAR AND MYRLIE EVERS HOME NATIONAL 
                    MONUMENT.

    (a) Establishment.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), there is 
        established the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument 
        in the State of Mississippi as a unit of the National Park 
        System to preserve, protect, and interpret for the benefit of 
        present and future generations resources associated with the 
        pivotal roles of Medgar and Myrlie Evers in the American Civil 
        Rights Movement.
          (2) Determination by the secretary.--The Monument shall not 
        be established until the date on which the Secretary determines 
        that a sufficient quantity of land or interests in land has 
        been acquired to constitute a manageable park unit.
    (b) Boundaries.--The boundaries of the Monument shall be the 
boundaries generally depicted on the Map.
    (c) Availability of Map.--The Map shall be on file and available 
for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park 
Service.
    (d) Acquisition Authority.--The Secretary may only acquire any land 
or interest in land located within the boundary of the Monument by--
          (1) donation;
          (2) purchase from a willing seller with donated or 
        appropriated funds; or
          (3) exchange.
    (e) Administration.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall administer the Monument 
        in accordance with--
                  (A) this Act; and
                  (B) the laws generally applicable to units of the 
                National Park System, including--
                          (i) section 100101(a), chapter 1003, and 
                        sections 100751(a), 100752, 100753, and 102101 
                        of title 54, United States Code; and
                          (ii) chapter 3201 of title 54, United States 
                        Code.
          (2) Management plan.--
                  (A) In general.--Not later than 3 years after the 
                date on which funds are first made available to the 
                Secretary for this purpose, the Secretary shall prepare 
                a general management plan for the Monument in 
                accordance with section 100502 of title 54, United 
                States Code.
                  (B) Submission.--On completion of the general 
                management plan under subparagraph (A), the Secretary 
                shall submit it to the Committee on Natural Resources 
                of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
                Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.
    (f) Agreements.--
          (1) Monument.--The Secretary--
                  (A) shall seek to enter into an agreement with the 
                College to provide interpretive and educational 
                services relating to the Monument; and
                  (B) may enter into agreements with the College and 
                other entities for the purposes of carrying out this 
                Act.
          (2) Historic district.--The Secretary may enter into 
        agreements with the owner of a nationally significant property 
        within the Historic District, to identify, mark, interpret, and 
        provide technical assistance with respect to the preservation 
        and interpretation of the property.
    (g) No Buffer Zones.--
          (1) In general.--Nothing in this Act, the establishment of 
        the Monument, or the management of the Monument creates a 
        buffer zone outside of the Monument.
          (2) Activity or use outside monument.--The fact that an 
        activity or use can be seen, heard, or detected from within the 
        Monument shall not preclude the conduct of the activity or use 
        outside of the Monument.

    2. Amend the title so as to read: ``An Act to establish the 
Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument in the State of 
Mississippi, and for other purposes.''.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of H.R. 4895, as ordered reported, is to 
establish the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument 
(Monument) in the State of Mississippi.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Born July 2, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi, Medgar Evers 
was an impassioned activist, orator, and visionary of the Civil 
Rights Movement. Growing up in the Jim Crow South during the 
Great Depression, Evers attended a segregated school until he 
was a sophomore, at which point he enlisted in the United 
States Army during World War II and served in Normandy. 
Segregation in the military during his tour of duty cemented 
Evers' conviction to fight for change. He returned to school 
upon completion of his service, finished his high school 
degree, and then earned a college degree in business 
administration at Alcorn A&M College in Mississippi.
    Following graduation, Evers joined and became increasingly 
involved in the National Association for the Advancement of 
Colored People (NAACP). In 1954, he became the first African 
American to seek admission to the University of Mississippi 
School of Law, and, represented by Thurgood Marshall, sued the 
law school for denying him admission because of his race. 
Although his lawsuit was unsuccessful, NAACP officials were 
impressed by Evers' leadership potential, and he was officially 
appointed as Mississippi's first NAACP state field secretary in 
December 1954, a time of widespread racial violence against 
African Americans.
    As field secretary, Evers organized sit-ins for equal 
access to public accommodations and mounted major voter 
registration campaigns. His efforts to garner equal rights for 
African Americans in Mississippi incurred the wrath of white 
supremacists, and Evers was murdered on June 12, 1963, as he 
walked from his car to his house that evening. It took 31 years 
for Evers' killer to be brought to justice. In the years that 
followed, Mississippi changed a great deal. Evers' murder 
helped galvanize the nation to push for equality and justice, 
as evidenced by the thousands who marched in the streets during 
his funeral procession shouting: ``After Medgar, No More 
Fear.''
    Following his death, Mr. Evers' wife, Myrlie, continued his 
fight for racial equality and justice. Myrlie Evers was one of 
the first African-American women to run for Congress, and was 
the Director for Community Affairs at the Atlantic Richfield 
Company during the 1970s. Like her late husband, she worked 
tirelessly on behalf of the NAACP, eventually being elected to 
the position of chairperson in 1995.
    H.R. 4895 recognizes the Evers' contributions and 
sacrifices to racial equality and justice by establishing the 
Monument in Mississippi to preserve, protect, and interpret the 
Evers' pivotal role in the American Civil Rights Movement for 
present and future generations.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Representative Bennie Thompson introduced H.R. 4895 in the 
House of Representatives on January 29, 2018. The Committee on 
Natural Resources reported H.R. 4895 on April 11, 2018 (H. 
Rept. 115-632), and the measure passed the House of 
Representatives by voice vote on May 15, 2018.
    Senators Wicker, Hyde-Smith, and Jones introduced companion 
legislation, S. 2889, on May 21, 2018.
    The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on H.R. 
4895 and S. 2889 on August 15, 2018.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on October 2, 2018, and ordered H.R. 4895 
favorably reported, as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 
4895, if amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    During its consideration of H.R. 4895, the Committee 
adopted a joint staff amendment in the nature of a substitute. 
The substitute amendment makes a number of changes, including 
updating and alphabetizing definitions; modifying the 
Monument's name to include Myrlie Evers; standardizing the 
determination and acquisition authority; and clarifying that 
the National Park Service and Tougaloo College may enter into 
agreements to provide educational and interpretive services. 
The Committee also adopted an amendment to the title to reflect 
the Monument's revised name.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 contains the short title.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 contains key definitions.

Section 3. Establishment of Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National 
        Monument

    Subsection (a) establishes the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home 
National Monument in the State of Mississippi as a unit of the 
National Park System to preserve, protect, and interpret for 
the benefit of present and future generations resources 
associated with the pivotal roles of Medgar and Myrlie Evers in 
the American Civil Rights Movement. This subsection specifies 
that the Monument shall not be established until the Secretary 
determines that a sufficient quantity of land or interests in 
land have been acquired to constitute a manageable park unit.
    Subsection (b) notes that the boundaries of the Monument 
shall be as generally depicted on the map entitled, ``Medgar 
and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument,'' numbered 515/142561, 
and dated September 2018.
    Subsection (c) provides that the map shall be on file and 
available for public inspection.
    Subsection (d) authorizes the Secretary to acquire any land 
or interest in land located within the Monument's boundary by 
donation, purchase from a willing seller with donated or 
appropriated funds, or exchange.
    Subsection (e) requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
administer the Monument in accordance with this Act and all 
laws generally applicable to the National Park System. This 
subsection also directs the Secretary to prepare a general 
management plan for the Monument not later than three years 
after the date on which funds are first made available. Upon 
completion, the Secretary is required to submit the general 
management plan to the House Natural Resources Committee and 
the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
    Subsection (f) directs the Secretary to seek to enter into 
an agreement with Tougaloo College, a private educational 
institution in Tougaloo, Mississippi, to provide interpretive 
and educational services relating to the Monument. The 
Secretary is also authorized to enter into agreements with 
Tougaloo College and other entities for the purposes of 
carrying out the Act. The Secretary is further authorized to 
enter into agreements with the owner of a nationally 
significant historic property within the Medgar Evers Historic 
District to identify, mark, interpret, and provide technical 
assistance regarding the preservation and interpretation of the 
property.
    Subsection (g) clarifies that nothing in this Act, the 
establishment of the Monument, or the management of the 
Monument creates a buffer zone outside of the Monument. This 
subsection further makes clear that an activity which can be 
seen, heard, or detected from within the Monument shall not 
preclude the conduct of the activity or use outside of the 
Monument.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    H.R. 4895 would establish the Medgar Evers Home National 
Monument in Jackson, Mississippi. Under the bill, the site 
would become a unit of the National Park System and would be 
owned and operated by the National Park Service (NPS). The bill 
would direct the NPS to acquire the Medgar Evers home by means 
of donation from Tougaloo College. Based on the expected date 
of that donation and the experience of other system units, CBO 
expects the monument would not be formally established for 
several years.
    Using information from the NPS on the costs for operating 
new system units, CBO estimates that the agency would incur 
about $200,000 annually in administrative costs in its initial 
years. The bill also would require the NPS to develop a general 
management plan for the monument. Based on the costs of similar 
tasks, CBO estimates that developing the plan would cost less 
than $500,000. In total, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 
4895 would cost about $1 million over the 2018-2022 period; 
such spending would be subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    Enacting H.R. 4895 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4895 would not increase 
net direct spending or onbudget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 4895 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out H.R. 4895. The Act is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of H.R. 4895, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    H.R. 4895, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the August 15, 2018, hearing on H.R. 4895 and S. 2889, 
companion legislation to H.R. 4895, follows:

Statement of P. Daniel Smith, Deputy Director, Exercising the Authority 
of the Director, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to provide the 
Department of the Interior's views on H.R. 4895 and S. 2889, 
bills to establish the Medgar Evers Home National Monument in 
the State of Mississippi, and for other purposes.
    The Department supports enactment of H.R. 4895 and S. 2889 
with amendments described later in this statement. As a 
nationally significant civil rights site, where the owner has 
indicated a desire to donate the property for inclusion in the 
National Park System, the Medgar Evers Home represents an 
exceptional opportunity to preserve and interpret for future 
generations one of the most crucial stories of the African 
American civil rights movement of the mid-20th Century.
    H.R. 4895 and S. 2889 would authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to establish the Medgar Evers Home National Monument 
after meeting specified requirements. The proposed boundary of 
the monument includes land within the Medgar Evers National 
Register District and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers National 
Historic Landmark. The bills include authorities for land 
acquisition and administration that are commonly included in 
legislation establishing a unit of the National Park System.
    Medgar Wiley Evers was born in 1925 in Decatur, 
Mississippi. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, fought 
in both France and Germany during World War II, and received an 
honorable discharge in 1946. His wife, Myrlie Beasley, was born 
in 1933 and grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Medgar and 
Myrlie met while enrolled as students at Alcorn College in 
Lorman, Mississippi. They were married in 1951 and had three 
children: Darrell, Reena, and James.
    Medgar and Myrlie Evers were major contributors to 
advancing the goals of the civil rights movement by combining 
local, grassroots strategies in Mississippi with national 
organization efforts to change laws and policies related to 
voting rights, public education, and public accommodations. 
Medgar Evers was the first Mississippi field secretary for the 
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 
(NAACP) and was at the forefront of every major civil rights 
event in Mississippi from 1955 until his assassination in 1963. 
He traveled constantly to work on voter registration drives 
around the state; investigated the murders of African Americans 
such as Emmett Till, George Lee, and others; worked behind the 
scenes with James Meredith and Clyde Kennard to integrate 
Mississippi's white universities; and was involved in direct 
action campaigns such as the beach wade-ins on the Mississippi 
Gulf Coast, the library read-ins and the economic boycott of 
downtown Jackson.
    While Medgar was the public face of the NAACP in 
Mississippi, Myrlie Evers worked behind the scenes running the 
NAACP field office in Jackson, drafting speeches, and providing 
personal and logistical support for her husband and other civil 
rights workers. After her husband's death, Myrlie took on a 
public, active role in the civil rights movement. Soon after 
his funeral, she began speaking at NAACP events across the 
nation, eventually becoming the first woman to chair the board 
of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998.
    The assassination of Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963, in the 
carport of the couple's home was the first murder of a civil 
rights leader that focused national attention on the civil 
rights movement. His death heightened public awareness 
throughout the United States of civil rights issues and became 
one of the catalysts for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 
1964.
    The Evers family donated their home to Tougaloo College in 
1993. Located in Jackson's Elraine Subdivision, it is listed in 
the National Register of Historic Places as the first post-
World War II subdivision created for middle-class African 
Americans in Mississippi. Restored by the College, the home is 
operated as a museum commemorating the life of Medgar and 
Myrlie Evers. Guided tours of the house are available to the 
public by appointment. The Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home, 
located within the Medgar Evers Historic District on the 
National Register of Historic Places, was designated as a 
National Historic Landmark in 2016. On August 3, 2018, 
Secretary Ryan Zinke added the Medgar and Myrlie Evers home to 
the U.S. Civil Rights Network to further recognize its 
significance in the history of the African American civil 
rights movement.
    The National Park Service is in the process of conducting a 
Congressionally authorized special resource study of 
Mississippi's nationally significant civil rights sites, 
including the Evers home and many of the locations Medgar 
investigated during his work with the NAACP. Strong local 
support for including the home in the National Park System has 
been indicated through public meetings and comments. Tougaloo 
College, which owns the home, is prepared to donate the 
property for inclusion in the proposed unit. All funding for 
the unit would be subject to National Park Service priorities 
and the availability of appropriations.
    The Department recommends that S. 3176 and H.R. 5979 be 
amended in the following ways:
    First, H.R. 4895 and S. 2889 would name the site the 
``Medgar Evers Home National Monument''. The Department 
recommends adding Myrlie's name to make it the ``Medgar and 
Myrlie Evers Home National Monument''. This amendment would 
provide recognition for Myrlie's own important contributions to 
furthering the advancement of the civil rights movement, and it 
would make the name consistent with the National Historic 
Landmark designation.
    Second, the bills include two conditions for establishing 
the Medgar Evers Home as a unit of the National Park System: 
(1) entering into an agreement for donation of the property, 
and (2) acquiring sufficient land to constitute a manageable 
unit. Because land must be acquired prior to the establishment 
of the Monument, an agreement evidencing an intent to donate 
land is a precondition that does not need to be included in the 
legislation. We therefore recommend striking the first 
condition.
    Third, the bills require the National Park Service to enter 
into a cooperative agreement with Tougaloo College for 
interpretive and educational programming related to the 
national monument. The Department recommends amending the bills 
to allow flexibility for the National Park Service and Tougaloo 
College to determine the best way to work in partnership to 
further the purposes of the new unit rather than requiring a 
specific type of agreement for a specific purpose.
    Fourth, the bills provides land acquisition authority by 
means of donation, purchase with donated funds, or exchange. 
The Department recommends amending the bill to also include the 
authority to purchase lands with appropriated funds. Such 
authority is common for other National Park Service units. That 
authority would allow the owners of private property within the 
boundary the opportunity to sell their lands to the Federal 
government. Even if the owners are not interested in selling 
their land at the current time, this authority provides the 
flexibility for them to make that decision in the future if 
circumstances change. Before the National Park Service would 
seek to acquire any property, whether by purchase, donation, or 
exchange, it would take into consideration the condition of any 
structures on the property that would add to the Service's 
deferred maintenance backlog. Any funding to purchase land 
would be subject to future appropriations from Congress.
    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be 
pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the 
Subcommittee may have.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by H.R. 4895 as ordered 
reported.