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Pub.L. 108-181 Appointing the day for the convening of the second session of the One Hundred Eighth Congress. <> ...

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[[Page 117 STAT. 2645]]

Public Law 108-180
108th Congress

                                 An Act

 To award congressional gold medals posthumously on behalf of Reverend 
     Joseph A. DeLaine, Harry and Eliza Briggs, and Levi Pearson in 
  recognition of their contributions to the Nation as pioneers in the 
 effort to desegregate public schools that led directly to the landmark 
 desegregation case of Brown et al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka 
             et al. <<NOTE: Dec. 15, 2003 -  [H.R. 3287]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: 31 USC 5111 


    The Congress finds as follows:
            (1) The Reverend Joseph Armstrong DeLaine, one of the true 
        heroes of the civil rights struggle, led a crusade to break down 
        barriers in education in South Carolina.
            (2) The efforts of Reverend DeLaine led to the desegregation 
        of public schools in the United States, but forever scarred his 
        own life.
            (3) In 1949, Joseph DeLaine, a minister and school 
        principal, organized African-American parents in Summerton, 
        South Carolina, to petition the school board for a bus for black 
        students, who had to walk up to 10 miles through corn and cotton 
        fields to attend a segregated school, while the white children 
        in the school district rode to and from school in nice clean 
            (4) In 1950, these same parents, including Harry and Eliza 
        Briggs, sued to end public school segregation in Briggs et al. 
        v. Elliott et al., one of 5 cases that collectively led to the 
        landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown et al. v. Board of 
        Education of Topeka et al.
            (5) Because of his participation in the desegregation 
        movement, Reverend DeLaine was subjected to repeated acts of 
        domestic terror in which--
                    (A) he, along with 2 sisters and a niece, lost their 
                    (B) he fought off an angry mob;
                    (C) he received frequent death threats; and
                    (D) his church and his home were burned to the 
            (6) In October 1955, after Reverend DeLaine relocated to 
        Florence County in South Carolina, shots were fired at the 
        DeLaine home, and because Reverend DeLaine fired back to mark 
        the car, he was charged with assault and battery with intent to 

[[Page 117 STAT. 2646]]

            (7) The shooting incident drove him from South Carolina to 
        Buffalo, New York, where he organized an African Methodist 
        Episcopal Church.
            (8) Believing that he would not be treated fairly by the 
        South Carolina judicial system if he returned to South Carolina, 
        Reverend DeLaine told the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ``I 
        am not running from justice but injustice'', and it was not 
        until 2000 (26 years after his death and 45 years after the 
        incident) that Reverend DeLaine was cleared of all charges 
        relating to the October 1955 incident.
            (9) Reverend DeLaine was a humble and fearless man who 
        showed the Nation that all people, regardless of the color of 
        their skin, deserve a first-rate education, a lesson from which 
        the Nation has benefited immeasurably.
            (10) Reverend DeLaine deserves rightful recognition for the 
        suffering that he and his family endured to teach the Nation one 
        of the great civil rights lessons of the last century.
            (11) Like the Reverend DeLaine and Harry and Eliza Briggs, 
        Levi Pearson was an integral participant in the struggle to 
        equalize the educational experiences of white and black students 
        in South Carolina.
            (12) Levi Pearson, with the assistance of Reverend Joseph 
        DeLaine, filed a lawsuit against the Clarendon County School 
        District to protest the inequitable treatment of black children.
            (13) As a result of his lawsuit, Levi Pearson also suffered 
        from acts of domestic terror, such as the time gun shots were 
        fired into his home, as well as economic consequences: local 
        banks refused to provide him with credit to purchase farming 
        materials and area farmers refused to lend him equipment.
            (14) Although his case was ultimately dismissed on a 
        technicality, Levi Pearson's courage to stand up for equalized 
        treatment and funding for black students served as the catalyst 
        for further attempts to desegregate South Carolina schools, as 
        he continued to fight against segregation practices and became 
        President of Clarendon County Chapter of the NAACP.
            (15) When Levi Pearson's litigation efforts to obtain 
        equalized treatment and funding for black students were stymied, 
        Harry and Eliza Briggs, a service station attendant and a maid, 
        continued to fight for not only equalized treatment of all 
        children but desegregated schools as well.
            (16) As with Reverend DeLaine and Levi Pearson, the family 
        of Harry and Eliza Briggs suffered consequences for their 
        efforts: Harry and Eliza both were fired from their jobs and 
        forced to move their family to Florida.
            (17) Although they and their family suffered tremendously, 
        Harry and Eliza Briggs were also pioneers leading the effort to 
        desegregate America's public schools.


    (a) Presentation Authorized.--In recognition of the contributions of 
Reverend Joseph A. DeLaine, Harry and Eliza Briggs, and Levi Pearson to 
the Nation as pioneers in the effort to desegregate public schools that 
led directly to the landmark desegregation case of Brown et al. v. the 
Board of Education of Topeka et al., the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall make 
appropriate arrangements for the presentation, on behalf of the 
Congress, of a gold medal

[[Page 117 STAT. 2647]]

of appropriate design, to Joseph De Laine, Jr., as next of kin of 
Reverend Joseph A. DeLaine, and to the next of kin or other personal 
representative of Harry and Eliza Briggs and of Levi Pearson.
    (b) Design and Striking.--For the purposes of the awards referred to 
in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in this Act 
referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall strike 3 gold medals with 
suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the 


    The Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold 
medals struck pursuant to section 2, under such regulations as the 
Secretary may prescribe, and at a price sufficient to cover the costs 
thereof, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and 
overhead expenses, and the cost of the gold medals.


    (a) National Medals.--The medals struck pursuant to this Act are 
national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States 
    (b) Numismatic Items.--For purposes of section 5134 of title 31, 
United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be considered 
to be numismatic items.


    (a) Authority To Use Fund Amounts.--There is authorized to be 
charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund such 
amounts as may be necessary to pay for the cost of the medals authorized 
by this Act.
    (b) Proceeds of Sale.--Amounts received from the sale of duplicate 
bronze medals under section 3 shall be deposited in the United States 
Mint Public Enterprise Fund.

    Approved December 15, 2003.


            Nov. 18, considered and passed House.
            Nov. 25, considered and passed Senate.


Pages: 1

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