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The Missouri House approves ‘Rush Limbaugh Day’ after saying no to ‘Walter Cronkite Day’

The Missouri House approves ‘Rush Limbaugh Day’ after saying no to ‘Walter Cronkite Day’


JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House on Thursday kept alive an effort to honor the late Rush Limbaugh, who was from Cape Girardeau and gained national fame as a syndicated conservative radio host.

Legislation approved Thursday would designate each Jan. 12, Limbaugh’s birthday, as “Rush Limbaugh Day” in Missouri. Limbaugh, 70, died in February after a battle with cancer.

The vote immediately followed a Democratic-led effort to designate Jan. 13 as “Walter Cronkite Day,” after the Missouri native and broadcast journalist who anchored the CBS Evening News. The effort failed. Cronkite, who was born in St. Joseph, died in 2009.

Democrats opposed “Rush Limbaugh Day,” and have cited decades of racist, misogynistic and homophobic statements by Limbaugh as reasons he should not be honored with an official state designation.

“Have you ever heard him say any negative things on the radio about any race or another?” Rep. Jerome Barnes, D-Raytown, asked Rep. Hardy Billington, R-Poplar Bluff, the Limbaugh Day sponsor.

“To me, he had been an outstanding deal; he had done so many great things,” Billington said. “Now I think I told you before he probably had not been perfect by no means of the imagination but he had done an outstanding job.”

The measure must receive approval from the Senate before the end of the legislative session next Friday.

Billington successfully tacked it on to an underlying bill dealing with a wide range of state designations.

Among the items included in the legislation: designating each April 11-17 “Black Maternal Health Week”; designating each Aug. 31 “Random Acts of Kindness Day”; designating July 2 “Mormon War Remembrance Day” to recognize members of the Mormon church “subjected to injustice and undue suffering” in 1838 when Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs issued an order authorizing the “extermination” of Mormons if necessary.

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