United States Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn recently introduced legislation that would take the next step to protect and preserve President James K. Polk’s home in Columbia.
“Tennessee is full of history, and Tennessee’s President James K. Polk’s home is a special prize for Tennesseans as well as Americans,” Alexander said. “We talk a lot about the importance of science and math, but, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, most high school seniors in America score the worst in history. I can think of no better way to encourage the study of U.S. history than to protect and preserve sites like Tennessee’s President James K. Polk’s home – and this legislation will also provide an opportunity to attract more visitors to Tennessee and strengthen local economies.”
“Tennessee has a legacy of raising leaders, and President James K. Polk is one that plays a chief role in our state’s history,” Blackburn said. “Designating our former president’s home as a unit of the National Park System would preserve his legacy for generations to come, so that all Tennesseans can study his presidency while enjoying the place that meant so much to him.”
The legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the suitability and feasibility of designating the site as a unit of the National Park System. Once the study is completed, the conclusions and recommendations will be submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources and the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Alexander is a member. If the study recommends the Polk Home should be included in the National Park System, Congress would then need to pass legislation designating the Polk Home as a new unit of the National Park System.
Alexander and Black-burn also introduced the James K. Polk Presidential Home Study Act last Congress.