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Senate Proceeding on Apr 19th, 2010 :: 0:24:15 to 0:33:25
Total video length: 4 hours 44 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Lamar Alexander

0:24:15 to 0:24:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: quorum call: mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the mr. alexander: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: mr. president, on april 15, benjamin hooks died in the city where he was born 85 years ago, the city of memphis. later this afternoon, i and

Lamar Alexander

0:24:15 to 0:33:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

0:24:38 to 0:24:59( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: senator burris and senator corker will introduce a resolution honoring the life and achievement of dr. benjamin l. hooks. that the text of that resolution be included in the record following my remarks the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: benjamin hooks was certainly one of tennessee's most distinguished citizens and

Lamar Alexander

0:25:00 to 0:25:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: one of america's leaders in this last half century. he a visionary, a lawyer, a storyteller, a preacher. and for my wife and i, he and his wife francis were close and

Lamar Alexander

0:25:22 to 0:25:43( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: good friends. it's hard to start talking -- i -- there will be a funeral service in memphis on wednesday. i will attend it, will make remarks there, but i wanted to say just a few words about my friend, dr. hks, on the floor of the senate today.

Lamar Alexander

0:25:44 to 0:26:05( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: ben hooks was born april 15, 85 years ago. he leaves his wife francis and his daughter, patricia gray and two grandsons. he was the fifth of seven children born to robert b. and bessie hooks. and right from the beginning, he was part of a pioneering family.

Lamar Alexander

0:26:06 to 0:26:26( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: he was the grandson of julia hooks, the second black woman in the united states to graduate from college. young ben hooks went on to la lamoines in memphis and graduated from howard. he served in the united states army. he was a patriot. and while in the army, he learned something more about

Lamar Alexander

0:26:27 to 0:26:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: injustice when he found that some of the prisoners of war that he guarded had more rights than he did to eat in a restaurant. his pioneering continued when he went back home to memphis after the war. first he had to get a law degree, and at that time, no tennessee law school would

Lamar Alexander

0:26:48 to 0:27:10( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: accept an african-american law student. it was the same in arkansas. i rember georgealey, the brother of alex haley -- that's another tennessee family, the haleys. george haley was able to go to university of arkansas at about this same time and was required to sit by himself in a separate room because they simply didn't

Lamar Alexander

0:27:11 to 0:27:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: know what to do with an african-american student. ben hooks chose to go to depaw university in chicago, where he received his law degree in 1948 and came back to memphis. he kept pioneering. he was one of the few, if not the first, african-american lawyer to set up his own

Lamar Alexander

0:27:32 to 0:27:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: practice in memphis. he was appointed to the shelby county criminal court by governor frank clement of tennessee in 1965, making him the first black criminal court judge in the history of our state. he and dr. martin luther king

Lamar Alexander

0:27:53 to 0:28:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: worked together, and he lived to see dr. king go from being someone who was reviled to someone who was honored by having a national holiday in his name. in 1972, benjamin hooks became the first black appointed to the federal communication commission. that was at the recommendation

Lamar Alexander

0:28:14 to 0:28:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: of senator howard baker, a republican senator, and a republican president, richard nixon. ben hooks was able to support leaders of both parties. he supported the 1972 presidential republican ticket. he supported senator baker in his races, and his wife francis supported me every time i ran

Lamar Alexander

0:28:35 to 0:28:56( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: for public office in tennessee, which has been a lot -- five different times -- and everybody knew that francis hooks wouldn't have been supporting me if ben hooks didn't know about it. in fact, it's hard to think of ben hooks without francis. i can't think of a time that i talked with him that i didn't start with her. she was his sweetheart, his

Lamar Alexander

0:28:57 to 0:29:17( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: ally, his secretary, his assistant, his advisor, and all of us send to her and to her family our -- our thoughts during these days. i talked with her for a few minutes just awhile ago. benjamin hooks became best known in this country when he was elected executive director of

Lamar Alexander

0:29:18 to 0:29:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the national association for the advancement of colored people, naacp, in 1976, and he served in that role until 1992. during that time, the naacp grew by hundreds of thousands of members due toen hooks' leadership. ben hooks was an ordained minister and he delivered

Lamar Alexander

0:29:39 to 0:30:02( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: sermons for more than a half century, and they were sermons well worth hearing. ben hooks had the combined gifts of a southern preacher, a southern lawyer, and a southern politician, and he could turn a phrase and turn the audience inside-out and upside-down with his phrases just as well as

Lamar Alexander

0:30:03 to 0:30:24( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: anyone that i've eve heard. one of his most touching speeches was his eulogy at the funeral of a former senator, albert goa h. gore sr., which i heard in nashville. they renewed their wedding vows after almost 50 years of marriage. in november of 2007, just about 2 1/2 years ago, benjamin hooks

Lamar Alexander

0:30:25 to 0:30:46( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: was awarded the presidential metal of freedom, a high civilian honor in the united states, by president george w. bush. he has helped to establish in his hometown of memphis the benjamin l. hooks institute for social change at the university of memphis.

Lamar Alexander

0:30:47 to 0:31:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: in talking with some of the faculty members at this institute a few years ago, one of them said that ben hooks understands that our country was a work in progress. he'd seen the hard parts of it. he'd seen the injustice of it. when he -- before he died, he was still sad and angry about some of the injustice that exists today

Lamar Alexander

0:31:10 to 0:31:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: but he had also seen the promise of it as well. and through his lifetime, he lived through the king days, the sit-ins, the days of the first black criminal court justice, where it was commonplace for african-americans to graduate from law school, the election of the first african-american president, the rise of the

Lamar Alexander

0:31:32 to 0:31:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: national -- of the naa, ben hooks saw the great promise of american life. after he was awarded the medal of freedom in 2007 by the president, i hosted a -- a lunch for him in the senate ding room downstairs. those who come to the senators dining room are accustomed to

Lamar Alexander

0:31:53 to 0:32:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: seeing distinguished visitors. in fact, that's why most people go to the senators ding room, to be seen. but that day ben hooks took over the dik ding room. he was by far the most distinguished visitor there. some very well-known people came to pay respect to him. one of those was the late jack kemp who worked with dr. hooks on civil rights issues for many years.

Lamar Alexander

0:32:14 to 0:32:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: but the greatest commotion was caused by the people who work in the senators ding room, those who serve, those who wait tables, those who cook in the kitchen. they all wanted to shake ben hooks' hand. they wanted to say hello to him. they wanted his autograph. and most wanted his picture. we'll miss ben hooks leadership.

Lamar Alexander

0:32:35 to 0:32:57( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: we'll miss his vision. we'll miss his capacity to work with both republicans as well as democrats. tennessee has lost one of its most distinguished citizens but we're grateful for that life. and many memphis on wednesday, we will celebrate the life of dr. benjamin l. hooks.

Lamar Alexander

0:32:58 to 0:33:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: mr. president, i thank the chair ch i yield the floor. i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk

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