U.S. House approves step toward making Polk home part of National Park system

Press release from U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Today, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Scott DesJarlais’ bill to study the feasibility of placing the President James K. Polk Home and Museum in Columbia, Tennessee, under protection of the National Park Service. An Interior Department study would be a major step towards helping the charity that maintains the property to preserve and expand it.

“After speaking with city leaders and volunteers, who lend their time and energy to the historic landmark, I offered legislation to supplement their efforts at the Polk Home. Our eleventh president is a national hero with Tennessee roots, who had enormous influence on the direction of our country. Without him, the United States might not look like it does today, a strong and prosperous nation spanning a continent,” said the Congressman.

“The outcome was not always certain. The aim of my bill is to help more people understand Polk’s importance and to preserve his legacy.”

With the exception of the White House, the eleventh president’s home is his only surviving residence. Polk was an ally of Andrew Jackson, the first president from Tennessee, and he greatly expanded the United States during his single term. Many historians consider him the most successful pre-Civil War president, the only Speaker of the House to ever serve in that role.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn co-sponsored Rep. DesJarlais’ James K. Polk Presidential Home Study Act (H.R. 443). Senator Lamar Alexander sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.

“I’d like to thank my colleagues for persisting in this good cause and look forward to Senate approval and ultimately the President’s signature,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN04).

He and Rep. Blackburn each represent portions of Columbia.

Note: The push to make Columbia’s Polk home part of the National Park Service ties into a proposal – approved by the state legislature last week (a previous post HERE) to disinter the bodies of the former president and his wife from their current location on the state Capitol grounds and move them to Columbia. A 2017 press release from Alexander on the national park push is HERE.

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