- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 8, 2014

Two Missouri senators have proposed renaming the District’s Union Station after former President Harry S. Truman, who hailed from the “Show Me” state.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, and Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, introduced legislation Tuesday on the 130th anniversary of Truman’s birth to rename the historic D.C. train station — “Harry S. Truman Union Station.”

Truman’s extensive use of train travel during his time in the White House makes the dedication a fitting tribute, Ms. McCaskill said. The 33rd president was well known for crossing the country by train during his famous whistle-stop campaign tour in 1948. Truman’s presidential rail car, U.S. Car No. 1, was also housed at Union Station.

“It would be a fitting tribute to have the train station, just a short walk from the Capitol and that played such an important role in his presidency, bear the name of this great leader,” Ms. McCaskill said in a statement.


The transportation hub, which was the largest train station in the world when it was completed in 1908, is owned by the federal government and could be renamed by Congress. Both Ms. McCaskill and Mr. Blunt serve on the committee with jurisdiction over the legislation.

The lawmakers secured a crucial endorsement Thursday afternoon, when Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city’s nonvoting congressional representative, gave the idea her blessing and said she would introduce a companion bill in the House.

“My only concern was that the historic name, Union Station, not be lost, but Senators McCaskill and Blunt have thoughtfully kept the name, with the addition of Harry S. Truman,” she said.

Ms. Norton, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to which the bill would likely be assigned, said she hoped the attention from a high-profile name change would renew commitment to rehabilitating the station.

The bill marks the second time in recent days the Missouri Senate delegation has worked with Ms. Norton on mutually beneficial legislation.

Last week, Ms. McCaskill and Mr. Blunt carried a companion bill in the Senate to a measure introduced in the House that would establish the District’s Pershing Park as the site for a national World War I memorial and dedicate the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City as the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

The bill, if successful, would stave off efforts to “nationalize” a D.C. World War I memorial already located on the Mall — a longtime priority of Ms. Norton’s.