Aug 06 2010

Senate recognizes 50th anniversary of "To Kill A Mockingbird"

The U.S. Senate has officially recognized the 50th anniversary of one of the great novels of the 20th century, Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Senate resolution, introduced by U.S. Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), was approved unanimously..
The Alabama senators applauded the resolution’s passage and noted the enduring significance of the literary classic in statements..

“This is a historic milestone for one of America’s truly great literary works,” Sessions said. “The timeless themes and the memorable characters portrayed in Ms. Lee’s work transcend age and race. It is fitting to pay tribute to such a classic, which is read by students around the world and valued by all those who believe in fairness, equality, and justice. Ms. Lee’s novel is a gift to our society and its value will only continue to increase with time.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird has been, and will continue to be, one of the most celebrated pieces of American literature,” Shelby said. “This novel is renowned, not only for its brazen literary depictions of racial inequality in 1930s Alabama, but also the incredible impact it had on American culture. I have no doubt that To Kill a Mockingbird will continue to be treasured by generations of readers for years to come.”  

The legendary novel—which takes place in the fictional small town of Maycomb, modeled on Monroeville, AL, Lee’s hometown—addresses the issue of racial inequality in 1930s America. The story is told through the eyes of a six-year-old girl, Scout Finch, who watches her father, Atticus, defend an African-American man falsely accused of raping a white woman.

Lee’s work won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 and was adapted to an Academy Award-winning film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in 1962. The novel has sold more than 30 million copies and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

In 2007, President George W. Bush awarded Lee the Presidential Medal for Freedom at a White House ceremony.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a similar resolution honoring Lee’s work, introduced by Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Mobile).