Minnesota’s Congressional delegation is introducing a resolution on Oct. 25 to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to the legendary Prince, citing his “indelible mark on Minnesota and American culture. The medal is one of the nation’s highest civilian honors and past recipients include George Washington, the Wright Brothers, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, the Navajo Code Talkers, the Tuskegee Airmen and the Dalai Lama.
“The world is a whole lot cooler because Prince was in it — he touched our hearts, opened our minds, and made us want to dance. With this legislation, we honor his memory and contributions as a composer, performer, and music innovator. Purple reigns in Minnesota today and every day because of him,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who represents the state, told The Associated Press.
Klobuchar is leading the resolution for Prince to receive the medal along with U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat who represents Minneapolis in the House. The full Minnesota delegation serves as original co-sponsors, including Sen. Tina Smith and Reps. Jim Hagedorn, Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, Betty McCollum, Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach, Pete Stauber and Omar.
“Prince is a Minnesota icon. He showed that it was OK to be a short, Black kid from Minneapolis and still change the world. He not only changed the arc of music history; he put Minneapolis on the map,” Omar also told The AP.
Under the rules, Congressional Gold Medals require the support of at least two-thirds of the members of both the Senate and House of Representatives before they can be signed into law by the president. The Prince legislation will be introduced in the House and Senate. If the gold medal is approved and made, the bill asks that it be given to the Smithsonian Institution, which should make it available for display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture or on loan.