Monday, April 25, 2011
The Claude Pepper Center is a short walk up the street from my office on the FSU campus and contains quite a bit of interesting memorabilia from the life of Claude Denson Pepper. Pepper was a devoted public servant, serving first in the Florida House of Representatives (1929-1930), next as a U.S. Senator (1936-1950), and then in the U.S. House of Representatives (1962-1989). During his long career, Pepper sponsored legislation to promote equal rights, civil rights, workers' rights and the Lend-Lease Act and became a driving force for the establishment of the National Institutes of Health, a system of government-sponsored medical research facilities. Much later in his life and career, he gained international fame as an advocate of elder's rights, health care, and for strengthening and protecting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other government sponsored programs on behalf of millions of Americans.