The Wilberforce home of one of the most significant figures in African-American history is being considered for incorporation into the National Park System. The Charles P. Young house might soon get that honor.
Ohio senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman recently introduced legislation to have Colonel Charles Young's house, which is located on US Route 42, entered into the National Park System.
Young was a Buffalo Soldier and the third African-American to graduate from West Point. He was also the first African-American to become a colonel in the U.S. Army.
Sandra Washington of the National Park Service, says Young's home was designated a a national landmark in 1974 and now the Ohio senators' proposed legislation opens the door politically for more recognition.
"The bill that both senators Portman and Brown introduced was a bill to authorize the National Park Service to study the Charles Young Home in Wilberforce. There's two steps in that process, the National Park Service before we can begin to study a site to determine whether or not it meets the criteria, Congress has to authorize our agency to do that study and so their bill would do that if passed in the Senate and the House," Washington said.
Washington says similar legislation has been presented before, but but has fallen victim to political gridlock.
"The previous Congresses have also had bills submitted for the National Park Service to study the house and it has never passed both the House and the Senate. Those bills expire at the end of each of the Congresses. This is I think, the third Congress that a study bill has come forward," Washington said.
Senators Portman and Brown say Young's home should be entered into the National Park Service and stand as a tribute to a man who was a wartime hero and a true example of the best of Ohio.