SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, folks. Well, I think it goes to the congressman and his entire career. So it’s really a pleasure to be here today on so many different levels. We’re here to help inaugurate our newest passport office that is helping to get those little blue books into the hands of Americans to allow them to travel the world. And this is one of the most important functions of the State Department. We’re here to inaugurate that. We’re going to be also swearing in some new American citizens in just a short while.

But for the passport office, we are also unveiling these extraordinary murals of the person for whom the – this agency here is named, Congressman Robert Nix, who was the first African American to represent Pennsylvania, served in Congress for over 20 years, was a leader in so many things, including civil rights, was a remarkable representative for his constituency here. I’m really thrilled to be joined by his family, so thank you for being here.


PARTICIPANT: Thank you for having us.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: And the remarkable muralist, Gabe Tiberino, who created these extraordinary murals that capture the congressman’s life and his service, and also connect this building in an interesting way to what it’s doing now, what it was doing before. This was a post office before – as Philadelphia’s (inaudible) post office, before it became now the passport agency. And the post office was connecting people to the mail; this agency now is connecting Americans to the world by helping deliver them passports. So I think it’s kind of fitting, the congressman was on the Foreign Affairs Committee in his day, but also the committee that oversaw the passport – excuse me, the post office agency. So it really dovetails together beautifully and it’s an honor to be able to help unveil these murals. Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future