05 January 2007

The Year of Lee

VIRGINIA SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 382
Establishing a joint subcommittee to plan and coordinate the 200th anniversary celebration of the birth of Robert E. Lee. Report.

Agreed to by the Senate, February 25, 2005
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 24, 2005

WHEREAS, Robert E. Lee was born to Revolutionary War hero "Light Horse Harry" Lee and Anne Carter Lee at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on January 19, 1807; and

WHEREAS, Robert E. Lee attended West Point Military Academy where he graduated second in his class without receiving a single demerit; and

WHEREAS, on June 30, 1831, Robert E. Lee married Mary Ann Randolph Custis, the only daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of Martha Washington and the adopted grandson of George Washington; and

WHEREAS, Robert E. Lee served in the United States Army for nearly 32 years and was offered the command of the Union Army at the outset of the Secession Crisis; and

WHEREAS, after suffering through a great deal of internal conflict, Robert E. Lee chose to link his fate to his native Virginia although opposed to secession, stating that he could not "lift his hand against his own people"; and

WHEREAS, Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia in the Confederate capital of Richmond on June 1, 1862; and

WHEREAS, following the collapse of the Confederate States of America, Robert E. Lee encouraged the people of the South to "abandon your animosities, . . . and make your sons Americans"; and

WHEREAS, Robert E. Lee accepted the position of President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, where he strove to improve the plight of the war-ravaged South through education and advancement of the youth; and

WHEREAS, Robert E. Lee died on October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia; and

WHEREAS, the 200th anniversary of Robert E. Lee's birth will occur in 2007; and

WHEREAS, the celebrations, forums, special resources for the public schools, and promotion of tourism of historic sites related to Robert E. Lee will bring national attention to the legacy of Robert E. Lee and the Commonwealth; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That a joint subcommittee be established to plan and coordinate the 200th anniversary celebration of the birth of Robert E. Lee. For this occasion, the joint subcommittee is hereby designated the official Robert E. Lee Memorial Commission of the Commonwealth. The joint subcommittee shall have a total membership of 14 members that shall consist of six legislative members, five nonlegislative citizen members, and three ex officio members. Members shall be appointed as follows: two members of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; four members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; two nonlegislative citizen members, one of whom shall represent the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and one of whom shall represent the Virginia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and three nonlegislative citizen members, one of whom shall represent the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, one of whom shall represent the Confederate Memorial Literacy Society, and one of whom shall represent Washington and Lee University to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates. The Director of the Department of Historic Resources, the Executive Director of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall serve as ex officio members without voting privileges. Nonlegislative citizen members of the joint subcommittee shall be citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unless otherwise approved in writing by the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk, nonlegislative citizen members shall only be reimbursed for travel originating and ending within the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of attending meetings. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required. The joint subcommittee shall elect a chairman and vice chairman from among its membership, who shall be members of the General Assembly.

In planning and coordinating the 200th anniversary celebration, the joint subcommittee shall examine ways to (i) promote tourism of the historical sites connected with Robert E. Lee, including Stratford Hall, Lexington, and Appomattox; (ii) provide special activities at the historical sites, including a lecture series and forums concerning the life and impact of Robert E. Lee; and (iii) create additional emphasis on the contributions and impact of Robert E. Lee in the public schools in the history curriculum.

Administrative staff support shall be provided by the Office of the Clerk of the Senate. Legal, research, policy analysis, and other services as requested by the joint subcommittee shall be provided by the Division of Legislative Services. Technical assistance shall be provided by the Department of Historic Resources, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Department of Education. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the joint subcommittee for this study, upon request.

The joint subcommittee shall be limited to four meetings for the 2005 interim and six meetings for the period beginning with the 2006 interim through January 19, 2007. The direct costs of this study shall not exceed $8,000 for the 2005 interim and $10,000 for the period beginning with the 2006 interim through January 19, 2007. Approval for unbudgeted nonmember-related expenses shall require the written authorization of the chairman of the joint subcommittee and the respective Clerk. If a companion joint resolution of the other chamber is agreed to, written authorization of both Clerks shall be required.

No recommendation of the joint subcommittee shall be adopted if a majority of the Senate members or a majority of the House members appointed to the joint subcommittee (i) vote against the recommendation and (ii) vote for the recommendation to fail notwithstanding the majority vote of the joint subcommittee.

The joint subcommittee shall complete its meetings for the first year by November 30, 2005, and for the study's last year by January 19, 2007, and the chairman shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary of its findings and recommendations no later than the first day of the next Regular Session of the General Assembly for each year. Each executive summary shall state whether the joint subcommittee intends to submit to the General Assembly and the Governor a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a Senate or House document. The executive summaries and reports shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

Implementation of this resolution is subject to subsequent approval and certification by the Joint Rules Committee. The Committee may approve or disapprove expenditures for this study, extend or delay the period for the conduct of the study, or authorize additional meetings.


Robert E. Lee 200th birthday celebration events in Virginia for your consideration:

Liberty University - Robert E. Lee in Life & Legend

Lee Jackson Day - Lexington, Virginia


Stratford Hall - Robert E. Lee's 200th Birthday Celebration

Stephen Dill Lee Institute - Lee Bicentennial Symposium

1 comment:

Lawrence Underwood said...

Perhaps with this initiative there will be a renewed interest in Lee and that will spur a more accurate view of history than is presently taught by the mainstream. Additionally, it is encouraging and refreshing to see the State working in league with the SCV and UDC.