22.731.10 97th Legislative Session 166

2022 South Dakota Legislature

House Concurrent Resolution 6013

HOUSE ENGROSSED

Introduced by: Representative Randolph

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Celebrating American heroes.

WHEREAS, America celebrates numerous commemorative months, including Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, Hispanic American Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, and others; and

WHEREAS, these months, when considered together, demonstrate the great and exceptional diversity of America from its earliest days up through the present; and

WHEREAS, many of the heroes and stories displaying America’s rich diversity have been forgotten, removed, or ignored in recent years, despite the fact that the history books from previous generations made significant mention of these figures; and

WHEREAS, there are many historic individuals, accomplishments, and facts that should be restored to the knowledge of Americans; and

WHEREAS, the American War for Independence is one of the many excellent examples of the great diversity, largely unknown today, that caused America to be the unique and remarkable nation she has become; and

WHEREAS, early America truly was a melting pot, and the American War for Independence joined hundreds of thousands of Americans from many ethnicities and backgrounds together in that effort, illustrated by the fact that of George Washington’s 76 generals, 28 were foreign-born, and included those from Poland, Lithuania, France, Prussia, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Hungary, Holland, and many other nations; and

WHEREAS, virtually every battle in that War had integrated, non-segregated units; and

WHEREAS, Founding Father John Adams said that the pivotal moment leading to the American War for Independence was the shedding of the first blood at King Street, during which black patriot leader Crispus Attucks was killed by the British in the Boston Massacre, and that War came to a successful close at the Battle of Yorktown largely because of the intelligence work of black American James Armistead Lafayette, the first double spy in American history; and

WHEREAS, scores of other black leaders and heroes in that War known by previous generations included Jack Sisson, Prince Whipple, Peter Salem, Salem Poor, Lemuel Haynes, Richard Allen, Prince Estabrook, Jordan Freeman, Oliver Cromwell, Brister Baker, Billy Flora, and scores of others; and

WHEREAS, numerous Hispanics were also crucial in winning America’s independence, including Juan Miralles, Bernardo de Galvez, Francisco Saavedra, and Cuban women known as the "Ladies of Havana" who raised funds for Washington, and others; and

WHEREAS, the contributions of Jewish Americans were equally important, including those of Isaac Franks, Benjamin Nones, Haym Salomon, Isaac Moses, David Franks, Mordecai Sheftell, and many more; and

WHEREAS, Francis Salvador, a Sephardic Jewish American, was the first Jewish American to be elected to a state legislature and the first Jewish soldier to die in the American War for Independence; and

WHEREAS, the contributions of Native Americans to the cause of American independence were similarly crucial, including those of the tribes of the Passamaquoddy, St. John’s, Penobscot, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, and the Stockbridge Indian militias; and

WHEREAS, the contributions of women were likewise invaluable, including those of ladies such as Margaret “Captain Molly” Corbin, Abigail Adams, Elizabeth Lewis, Sybil Ludington, Mercy Otis Warren, Mary “Sergeant Molly” Hays, Lydia Darrah, Mary Katherine Goddard, Anna Strong, Nancy Bates, Ann Hart, and many more; and

WHEREAS, the contributions of white people of English descent were similarly inestimable, including those of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, John Jay, and scores of others; and

WHEREAS, the same pattern of diverse contributions and achievement is reflected not only in achieving America’s status as an independent nation but also in various domestic contributions as well, including in medicine, business, science, religion, education, military, government, and numerous other fields—that is, each is heavily populated with incredible contributions from Americans that were Anglo, Black, Hispanic, Jewish, Asian, men, women, youth, and also from other demographic areas within American life; and

WHEREAS, America has certainly failed from time-to-time to live up to the values it professes, as has every other nation and people in the world; but

WHEREAS, despite our periodic failures, America has far surpassed every other nation in the world in its successes, achievements, and progress in racial relations and cooperation; and

WHEREAS, any story of that War that does not include the contributions of all Americans is not a complete portrayal of America or its history:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives of the Ninety-Seventh Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that we reject any revisionist approach to American history and culture that excludes the incredible stories of our diverse forebears; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge a return to earlier stories of inclusiveness and cooperation in American history whereby merit is determined by one’s individual character and actions rather than identification with any particular ethnicity, gender, or sub-group; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we stand firmly behind the belief articulated in our Founding documents that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Underscores indicate new language.

Overstrikes indicate deleted language.