FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2001
TDD (202) 514-1888
PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM DIRECTS DESIGNATION OF MAIN JUSTICE
BUILDING AS THE " ROBERT F. KENNEDY JUSTICE BUILDING"
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft announced today that the Department of Justice Main Building will be named after former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to commemorate his accomplishments as Attorney General.
A Presidential Memorandum to the Administrator of the General Services Administration, which was issued today marking the 76th anniversary of Kennedy's birth, orders that the Main Justice Building at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., be designated as the "Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building."
The announcement was made at a ceremony today in the Department's Great Hall with President Bush, Attorney General Ashcroft, General Services Administration Administrator Stephen A. Perry and the Honorable Joseph Kennedy.
"The Justice Department building is being named after an Attorney General who led an extraordinary campaign against organized crime and who made great efforts to protect the civil rights of every American," said Attorney General Ashcroft. "We are not merely relabeling this building in the memory of Robert Kennedy, we are rededicating the Department of Justice to the causes he served."
Robert F. Kennedy served as the 64th Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964. In 1951, he first came to the Department's Criminal Division as a trial attorney. As Attorney General, Kennedy made a strong commitment to protect the civil rights of all Americans and refocused the Department's and FBI's efforts to combat organized crime.
The enforcement of voter registration laws was a priority. During his tenure, the Civil Rights Division brought 57 voting rights lawsuits. In 1961, Kennedy sent U.S. Marshals to Montgomery, Alabama, to protect the ‘freedom riders,' who rode buses in the South to desegregate interstate transportation.
Kennedy established the first coordinated federal law enforcement program to prosecute
organized crime. While he was Attorney General, the organized crime conviction rate increased dramatically.
Under 40 U.S.C.298d, the Administrator of General Services is authorized to name, rename or otherwise designate any building under the custody and control of the GSA.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Main Building was named after former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in 1972.