Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) received bipartisan support for a resolution to designate the National George C. Marshall Museum and Library as recognition of the unique position of the Marshall Foundation in protecting, preserving and promoting Marshall’s legacy. The measure passed the House on July 11 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Passage marks a significant moment for the Foundation. “This Congressional designation provides de facto recognition of the role this institution has played in keeping alive the memory and the legacy of one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century, General George C. Marshall,” said Marshall Foundation President Rob Havers.
Beginning in 1953, with President Truman’s support, and, since 1964 with the opening of the permanent facility on the post at VMI, the Marshall Museum and Research Library in Lexington has built a solid record of scholarship and programming to earn this designation. It remains a unique resource and a national treasure: the keeper of the flame of the Marshall legacy.
The national designation also marks the beginning of a new and concerted effort by the Foundation to bring Marshall to life for new generations, across this country and beyond. The completion, in 2016, of the seven-volume documentary editing project, The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, a monumental undertaking that spanned thirty-seven years, means that the scholarly record of what Marshall did and how he did it is assured. “Our task now is to build on this achievement and ensure that all Americans know Marshall and have the opportunity to be inspired by his life of selfless service,” said Dr. Havers.
The George C. Marshall Foundation, when finally designated by the full Congress as America’s National Marshall Museum and Library, will celebrate Marshall’s life and legacy with renewed vigor in 2017, the 70th anniversary of the Marshall’s history-making address at Harvard that announced the first ideas for European recovery that became known as the Marshall Plan. “The challenge remains: to ensure that every American knows exactly who George C. Marshall was, what he did and what his career represents,” he added.