Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 24,
Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre
Governor Signs Bill Honoring Buffalo Soldiers
Senator Judy Eason McIntyre said she was pleased when
Governor Brad Henry signed a measure that honors African American
soldiers that served in the Civil War, also known as Buffalo Soldiers.
Senate Bill 659 was signed on Wednesday, May 18, 2005.
Eason McIntyre, principal author of the legislation, stated that
the bill will create the "Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Corridor"
that follows the path they took across Oklahoma. The men were given
the name "Buffalo Soldier" by Native Americans who respected
their courage and fighting ability. SB 659 honors all African American
veterans, especially those who served their fellow Americans during
the Civil War, the Plains Indian Wars, land runs and World War I.
Buffalo Soldiers were stationed at Fort Gibson and Fort Sill, helping
to build the important Oklahoma forts as well as fight off bandits
and cattle thieves.
"I'm thrilled that this legislation has been signed into law
so that we can now begin to establish the Buffalo Soldiers Heritage
Corridor," stated Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa. "These brave
men joined the Union and fought to protect the land on which we
now live and I believe it is extremely important to honor them as
well as educate others about their contribution."
SB 659 does not have a direct fiscal impact upon the state, but
does establish a revolving fund as well as obligations for the monies
that are deposited into the fund. The Tourism and Recreation Department
are fulfilling the promotional and marketing requirements of the
SB 659 also establishes a five-member advisory committee that will
consist of the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation
Department or a designee of the office and the Executive Director
of the Oklahoma Historical Society or a designee. The Governor will
also appoint three members to the committee that will consist of
one representative from the Greenwood Cultural District, one member
from the All-Black Towns and one member from the public at large.
"Any town in the state is encouraged to participate in the
preservation and celebration of African American history or the
legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. I believe the creation of the Buffalo
Soldiers Heritage Corridor will work to further education of the
history of our state as well as stimulate economic development for
the towns and cities along the Corridor.
"I am very pleased this legislation has been signed into law
and I look forward to seeing the developments of the Buffalo Soldiers
Heritage Corridor," concluded Senator Eason McIntyre.
Office- (405) 530-2356