ELLICOTT - Robert H. Jackson continues to receive some local love.
The Interstate 86 bridge in Ellicott was officially dedicated Thursday to the Frewsburg native and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice. In October, President Barack Obama signed legislation to name the new federal courthouse in Buffalo after Jackson.
Local and state officials gathered at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown for the dedication.
Local and state officials on Thursday dedicated the Interstate 86 bridge in Ellicott after Robert H. Jackson, the Frewsburg native and U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The new federal courthouse in Buffalo also now bears Jackson’s name.
P-J photo by Eric Tichy
"It is important to celebrate historic figures from our communities," said state Sen. Cathy Young, R-Olean. "There is no better example of this than Jamestown's Robert H. Jackson."
Said Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Chautauqua County, "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."
The idea to name the bridge, which crosses over Strunk Road in the town of Ellicott, came from Lee Harkness, executive director of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation. Sen. Young and Goodell pushed matching legislation through the state Legislature for the renaming; Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bills into law in July.
"This is another great day for Jamestown," said Mayor Sam Teresi. "... This community has a rich past (and) only the future knows who will come out of the Jamestown area next."
Also present Thursday were County Executive Greg Edwards and James Johnson, president of the Robert H. Jackson Center - both of whom expressed gratitude toward Sen. Young and Goodell.
"This is great. It calls attention to us," Edwards said. "Thousands of people a day will be traveling along I-86 and be called to the people who made our past special."
Jackson, who held a private practice as an attorney in Jamestown and Buffalo, was the chief prosecutor of the Nazi war crime trials in Nuremberg following World War II. The eventual Supreme Court justice also served as Solicitor General and Attorney General, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
A sign to officially rename the bridge the "Robert H. Jackson Memorial Bridge" is expected to be installed within the next three weeks, Young said.
"This bridge will serve as a reminder to future generations of Justice Jackson's role in our shared history," she said.