Post office will bear name of first black countywide office holder in Champaign County


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CHAMPAIGN, Illinois — President Obama has signed legislation that will rename a post office near the University of Illinois after the first black person elected to countywide office in Champaign County.

According to The News-Gazette ( ), the president signed the bill renaming the post office after the late James Burgess Jr. on Tuesday.

Burgess served one term as Champaign County state's attorney in the 1970s. He earlier was a federal prosecutor and had been the leader of the 761st Tank Battalion, the first armored staffed by black soldiers to see combat in World War II.

Rep. Rodney Davis sponsored the legislation. He said he was "incredibly happy" for the Burgess family.

Burgess' son, Steve, pushed for years to have the federal courthouse in Urbana named for his father. Steve Burgess died in 2013.

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