Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R,C-Chautauqua) recently announced passage of his legislation to rename the Interstate 86 bridges that cross over Strunk Road and North Main Street in the town of Ellicott after former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Justice Jackson, who grew up in Frewsburg, served as solicitor general and attorney general under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He also served as chief of counsel for the United States at the first Nuremberg Trial in 1945 and 1946, and an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1941-54.
"I was proud to join my colleagues in the state Assembly to honor Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served our community and our country proudly," said Goodell. "By renaming this bridge after Justice Jackson, we not only pay tribute to this great man, but also draw attention to the cause of the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown. Justice Jackson was noted for his sharp legal mind, independent judgments and eloquent written opinions. It is my hope that renaming this bridge in his honor will inspire us to follow the example of Justice Jackson to reach our utmost potential."
Goodell has teamed up with state Sen. Cathy Young (R-Olean) to honor prominent members of the Chautauqua County community in an effort to promote tourism and communal pride in the region.
"The naming of this bridge celebrates and promotes our heritage and history. For 20 years, Justice Jackson served as general counsel, as solicitor general, as attorney general of the United States and as a member of the United States Supreme Court, (when he) made great contributions to this state. Dedicating this bridge in his name honors his work and the impact he made on Jamestown, New York state and the nation," Sen. Young said.
The two legislators also passed legislation to rename the bridge on Interstate Route 86 over North Main Street in the town of Ellicott as the "Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Memorial Bridge."
Lucille Ball, who was born in Jamestown, is best known as the star of the television show "I Love Lucy." While the "I Love Lucy" show ran for 25 years and made Lucille Ball and husband Desi Arnaz household names, she appeared in numerous other television shows, movies and Broadway plays. A five-time Emmy award winner, Ball became the first woman inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame, was the recipient of both the Genii Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Ball was also an accomplished business owner, becoming the first woman in television to be head of a production company, Desilu, which she formed with then-husband Desi Arnaz, later founding Lucille Ball Productions.
"Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were queen and king of comedy and the 'I Love Lucy' show is known across generations," said Goodell. "But what is equally interesting is her skill and knowledge of the business sector. She was not only a star on screen but excelled off-screen helping to build one of the most successful television production companies in history. The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum continues to host the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy each year and the event shares our community with enthusiasts from around the globe."
Last year, Goodell and Sen. Young joined together to rename the Interstate 86 span over Falconer-Kimball Stand Road/County Route 138 after Roger Tory Peterson, America's most decorated and well-known naturalist.
"Sen. Young and I continue to do all we can to promote the excellent cultural institutions of our community," concluded Goodell.