Heard on the Hill

Marilyn Monroe, Ritchie Valens highlight post office namings

1950s star power on display, along with regular cast featuring war heroes, political titans

California Rep. Tony Cárdenas sponsored measures to rename post offices after Marilyn Monroe and Ritchie Valens. (Tom William/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wednesday was a good day for post office namings, with references to some 1950s pop glitz gracing the House floor alongside the more typical war heroes and political titans. 

Sure, it’s not unusual to see your occasional celebrity post office designation. But when both Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe and crooner Ritchie Valens are in a vote series along with the late lawmakers Jeannette Rankin of Montana — the first woman elected to the House — and Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, well, HOH likes to make note of it.

Assuming the Senate and President Donald Trump do not hold up the noncontroversial measures, a few modest federal buildings in the the San Fernando Valley will get their big break.

These kinds of things are seldom controversial, but it did take a few years since California Rep. Tony Cárdenas first proposed renaming the Van Nuys postal facility after the actress who started out in life as Norma Jeane Mortenson.

The 2015 release announcing the legislation poked fun at Trump, featuring an image of a red hat that read “Make Van Nuys Post Office Great Again.”

The U.S. Post Office in Van Nuys, California according to Google maps.
The U.S. Post Office in Van Nuys, Calif., according to Google maps.

“This law is going to be so good and so smart that it will completely make America great again. America is going to be the best,” Cárdenas cheekily noted in the release.

Cárdenas also sponsored the measure to designate the postal facility located in Pacoima, California, after Valens, singer of the indelible “La Bamba.” Both measures, along with those honoring Lugar, Rankin and a host of others, passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules. 

Cárdenas told HOH in an email that he is proud that his bills to rename post offices after Valens and Monroe (two of the San Fernando Valley’s most famous and celebrated artists) passed the House.

“Their contributions to American rock and pop has shaped the century. … I am confident that with the support of Senators Feinstein and Harris, these two bills will be signed into law,” he said.

Your move Senate.

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