So the state of Washington wants a street in the Nation's Capital named for it, huh? Well, the Western Washingtonians can rant and rave about justice all they like. The key to success lies right under our noses, if not theirs:
That's right. Our very own cottage industry is the ticket. After all, politics settled things the last time a state needed a D.C. street named in its honor.
The year was 1945. A fellow named Roosevelt had just died, and a fellow named Truman had succeeded him.
If ever anyone was proud of being from Missouri, it was Harry Truman. And if ever a federal protectorate was dependent on the White House and Congress for its budget, it was the District of Columbia.
So it was with a large gulp that District officials realized one day that their city did not contain a street named in Missouri's honor. Hoping like the devil that no one would notice, D.C. officials moved swiftly to "Missourify" a street. Some street. Any street!
The choice was made quickly. It would be Concord Avenue, a well-paved, four-lane road in upper Northwest that ran between North Capitol Street and Georgia Avenue.
The D.C. Commissioners anticipated a little opposition from people who lived along Concord Avenue. They would have to get new stationery printed, and they'd have to notify all their sisters, cousins and aunts of the change. But better a few irritated Washingtonians than one irritated President.
What about one super-irritated lieutenant governor?
Into the fray leapt James F. Bradford of Massachusetts, who wanted to know why the town that Paul Revere made famous didn't deserve some capital pavement.
Bradford thought he knew. In newspaper interviews of the day, he insinuated that Truman himself was pushing for the change. Swinging the old presidential weight around for the heck of it, as it were.
The D.C. Commissioners replied that the home-state push was coming from the Missouri state government, not its most famous native son. Mollified, Bradford withdrew his objection, and on July 16, 1946, the commissioners officially changed Concord to Missouri.
The lesson for the state of Washington? Persuade Scoop Jackson to run for president. Where there's the power of the presidency, there's a street name in the immediate future.