Friday, April 17, 2009

Madeleine Albright and Craig Ferguson on Citizenship

On tonight's edition of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS-TV, the lead guest was former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The interview touched several issues, including the potential of Texas secession, Albright's collection of brooches and pins (including a "snake pin" she wore at the United Nations to goad Saddam Hussein), the Secretary's new book (Memo to the President Elect), and one thing that both host and guest have in common:

Both Madeleine Albright (born in what was then Czechoslovakia) and Craig Ferguson (born in Scotland) are naturalized American citizens -- that is, they are Americans by choice (and working to achieve it) rather than by birth.

In the course of their conversation, Dr. Albright mentioned that, on July 4, 2000, she visited Monticello and participated in the annual citizenship ceremonies there. She said that, as she handed out the certificates of citizenship to each of the new Americans, she told them, "Treasure this paper. It's the most important piece of paper you will ever have."

I reported on Albright's visit to Monticello for The Metro Herald, as I have reported on subsequent Independence Day naturalization ceremonies.

Let me make a suggestion to the folks up on Mr. Jefferson's little mountain: Craig Ferguson would be an excellent candidate to speak at the annual July 4th event. He's earned it. He'd also be entertaining, and I'm sure his remarks would be both intelligent and witty.

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