Legislation to name post office building for Burgess

July 31, 2103, update:

A measure has moved forward in the U.S. Senate to name a Champaign post office after a black World War II veteran who was also the county's first African-American elected official.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and government Affairs passed the measure honoring James R. Burgess Jr. on Wednesday.

News-Gazette.com reports:

Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, Wednesday introduced legislation to designate the U.S. Post Office at 302 E. Green St. in Champaign as the "James R. Burgess Jr. Post Office Building."

Burgess was the first African-American elected to countywide office in Champaign County (in 1972, as state's attorney), and later served as a U.S. attorney in East St. Louis. Burgess also was commander of an African-American armored unit in World War II in the European theater.

His son Steve, a resident of Urbana, originally had sought to have the federal courthouse in Urbana named for his late father....  

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