Illinois officials are still hopeful a site in the western part of the state could become a national park. New Philadelphia in Pike County was a community founded in 18-36 by a freed slave, Frank McWorter. It's believed to be the first town established by an African American in the country.
US congressman Aaron Schock says New Philadelphia embodied a vision for America. He's among those pushing legislation to designate the site as a park. But there has been a hold up in the U-S Senate:
"There's a concern about establishing more National Parks, period. Obviously, some members of the senate had financial concerns. We worked through those concerns in the House. And it passed the House unanimously."
Schock says both US Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin support the New Philadelphia plan and have written letters asking for the bill to be taken up. A pavilion was dedicated at the former town site yesterday.
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