H. R. 4384
To authorize the President to award gold medals on behalf of the Congress
to the family of Andrew Jackson Higgins and the wartime employees of Higgins
Industries, in recognition of their contributions to the Nation and to the
Allied victory in World War II.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 4, 2000
Mr. JEFFERSON (for himself, Mr. TAUZIN, Mr. MCCRERY, Mr. BAKER, Mr. JOHN,
Mr. COOKSEY, and Mr. VITTER) introduced the following bill; which was referred
to the Committee on Banking and Financial Services
To authorize the President to award gold medals on behalf of the
Congress to the family of Andrew Jackson Higgins and the wartime employees
of Higgins Industries, in recognition of their contributions to the Nation
and to the Allied victory in World War II.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) Andrew Jackson Higgins designed, engineered, and produced high speed
boats and various types of amphibious military landing craft, later to become
known as `Higgins boats', which were used by Allied forces during World War
(2) Higgins boats, constructed of wood and steel, transported fully-armed
troops, light tanks, field artillery, and other mechanized equipment essential
to Allied amphibious operations, including the decisive D-Day attack at Normandy,
(3) Andrew Jackson Higgins also designed, engineered, and constructed four
major assembly line plants in New Orleans for mass production of Higgins
landing craft and other vessels vital to the Allied forces' conduct of World
(4) Andrew Jackson Higgins'foresight, in purchasing the materials needed
to produce a large number of boats even before the United States became embroiled
in World War II, contributed the Nation's readiness when it finally did enter
(5) Andrew Jackson Higgins instituted a progressive social policy in his
Higgins Industries factories by employing a fully-integrated assembly line
work force of more than 20,000 black and white men and women during World
War II, with equal pay for equal work, decades before legal requirements
for integration and racial and gender equality were instituted.
(6) Prior to November 1940, when Higgins Industries began producing Higgins
boats for the United States Government, the Navy had only 18 landing craft
in its fleet; by the conclusion of the war, Higgins Industries had produced
20,094 landing craft of all types and had trained more than 30,000 Navy,
Marine, and Coast Guard personnel in their use.
(7) In 1964, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower said of Andrew Jackson
Higgins , `He is the man who won the war for us. If Higgins had not developed
and produced those landing craft, we never could have gone in over an open
beach. We would have had to change the entire strategy of the war.'
(8) Together, Andrew Jackson Higgins and the employees of Higgins Industries
provided a decisive and essential contribution to the United States and Allied
victory in World War II while practicing racial and gender workplace equality
far in advance of the norm for the time.
SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDALS.
(a) PRESENTATION AUTHORIZED- The President is authorized to present, on behalf
of the Congress--
(1) a gold medal of appropriate design to the family of Andrew Jackson Higgins
in recognition of his contributions to the Nation and to the Allied victory
in World War II;
(2) a gold medal identical to the medal referred to in paragraph (1) to the
D-Day Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, for public display; and
(3) a gold medal of appropriate design to the D-Day Museum in New Orleans,
Louisiana, in honor of the World War II employees of Higgins Industries and
in recognition of their contributions to the Nation and to the Allied victory
in World War II.
(b) DESIGN AND STRIKING- For the purpose of the presentations referred to
in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (hereinafter in this Act
referred to as the `Secretary') shall strike gold medals with suitable emblems,
devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.
SEC. 3. DUPLICATE MEDALS.
Under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary may
strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medals struck under section
2 at a price sufficient to cover the costs of the duplicate bronze medals
(including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses)
and the cost of the gold medals.
SEC. 4. NATIONAL MEDALS.
The medals struck under this Act are national medals for purposes of chapter
51 of title 31, United States Code.
SEC. 5. FUNDING AND PROCEEDS OF SALE.
(a) AUTHORIZATION- There is hereby authorized to be charged against the United
States Mint Public Enterprise Fund an amount not to exceed $60,000 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