Everett park puts ‘Scoop’ Jackson in his rightful place

EVERETT — A crowd of people gathered at Grand Avenue Park on Sunday afternoon to dedicate a bust of a man revered as the city’s favorite native son.

The bronze bust of the late Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson was unveiled at the park located across the street from the Jackson family home. The senator was a Democrat who served 42 years in Congress and ran for president in 1972 and again in 1976. He was born in Everett on May 31, 1912, and died here on Sept. 1, 1983.

“I’m so pleased with the placement of the Jackson bust,” Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said. “It’s so appropriate that we’re here at this location, across the street from the Jackson home in a park the senator loved, overlooking Naval Station Everett which he was instrumental in bringing to Everett.”

The bust is one of three on display, said John Hempelmann, president of the Seattle-based Henry M. Jackson Foundation that helped bring the monument to the park. The others are located at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and in the Russell Senate Office building in Washington, D.C. The location of all three symbolize the senator’s career, Hempelmann said.

“Now the third is here in his hometown, in the state that he loved so much,” he said. “It’s remarkable how his legacy has endured.”

Congressman Rick Larsen said one of Jackson’s legacies was his work with President Richard Nixon to bring China into the community of nations. Some of Jackson’s other legacies included his strong defense record and the pioneering of legislation that protected the environment such as the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act, Larsen added.

Larsen’s mother, who worked as a bank teller in Seattle, told him a story once about asking Jackson for some identification. The bank manager started to apologize but Jackson understood she was doing her job, Larsen said.

“For all the talk about Sen. Scoop Jackson, he clearly maintained a very humble side to him throughout his life and throughout his career,” he said. “That humility is a good lesson for all elected officials, including myself, to learn and it’s one of his other legacies I think we should remember.”

Jackson’s children, Anna Marie Laurence and Peter Jackson, each thanked the city of Everett and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for making the installation possible. Laurence said she plans to give Stephanson the American flag that is set to fly in Washington, D.C., on May 31 in Jackson’s honor.

“This is such a fabulous, special occasion,” Laurence said. “I can’t tell you how thrilled we are. The placement of the bust at Grand Avenue Park is just ideal.”

Internationally known bronze artist Wendy Ross was commissioned in 1984 by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation to create the busts of her father, Laurence said. Ross spent just over a year working on the project and looked at photographs and videotapes of Jackson, and talked to old friends, members of his staff and his wife, Helen, to gather insight into his character.

“Look at the amazing detail that Wendy has done on the bust,” Laurence said. “You can see dad’s striped tie is a little bit askew. His hair is combed just how he combed it. His face is smooth and his eyes are focused like he’s listening to you and yet his mouth is slightly open like he’s ready to talk to you right then and there.”

Former Everett Mayor Bob Anderson and his wife, Dona, who now live in Seattle, attended the ceremony to honor Jackson. They were close friends with Jackson when they lived nearby at 9th Street and Hoyt Avenue.

“He was just a good guy,” said Anderson, 82. “But at the same time, he had a stern side and when he needed to get something done there was nothing that could stand in his way. He was one of my mentors.”

The dedication included a flag ceremony by the Everett High School Naval Junior ROTC. The Henry M. Jackson Foundation held a private event at the Jackson home before the unveiling.

The house was packed with people, said Julia Laurence, Jackson’s granddaughter. The 17-year-old never met her grandfather but said she hears stories about him from those that knew him.

“Whenever I meet anyone they always tell me that I don’t even know how amazing he was and the sort of legacy that I have to carry,” she said. “It’s really wonderful that I am living his life through all the stories from his peers and admirers.”

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

Public events

Four free public events are planned next week to commemorate Henry M. Jackson’s life in Everett and his legacy in Congress.

Monday, May 28, 11 a.m.: A tribute to Jackson is to highlight the Memorial Day program at Evergreen Cemetery, 4504 Broadway in Everett.

Wednesday, May 30, 7 p.m.: UW President Michael Young is scheduled deliver the Henry M. Jackson/William Van Ness Jr. Lecture on Leadership in Kane Hall 220 on the university campus. Call (206) 682-8565 to reserve a seat.

Thursday, May 31, 1:30 p.m.: Rededication of the Henry M. Jackson Conference Center at Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St. Event includes unveiling of a bas relief of Jackson to be displayed in the center. Free parking in Lot B on the main campus.

4 p.m.: Jackson Centennial Celebration in Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Speakers include Jackson’s daughter, Anna Marie Laurence, and son, Peter Jackson, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

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