AP Phogo/Julie Smith
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh poses next to his gold bust. Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on Monday, May 14, 2012.
Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in a secret ceremony last Monday.
House Speaker Steven Tilley (R) apprently kept the time of the ceremony a secret until 20 minutes before it began in hopes of avoiding negative media attention. The bronze statue will be on display at the Capital alongside Walter Cronkite, Sacajawea, Walt Disney, and Harry Truman.
The Standard Examiner reports:
But in a break from tradition, the public and Democratic lawmakers were not allowed into the chambers of the House of Representatives, which were locked and guarded by armed members of the Missouri Highway Patrol while the ceremony took place.
Tilley had announced his decision to commission the piece in early March, just days after calling Sandra Fluke, the law student from Georgetown University who spoke in favor of mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives, a "slut" and a "prostitute."
A petition with about 35,000 signatures against Limbaugh's induction had been delivered to Tilley, but the speaker defended his decision saying "It’s not the 'Hall of Universally Loved Missourians.’"
"He may say things that strike a nerve," Tilley said. "But that doesn’t undo everything he’s accomplished in his career, and it doesn’t provide a reasonable excuse why he shouldn’t be honored by his home state for his many accomplishments."
Limbaugh was honored to be inducted, and he repeatedly told the crowd how humbled he was.
"I'm stunned. I'm not speechless, but close to it," Limbaugh told the crowd. "I'm literally quite unable to comprehend what's happening to me today."
The week prior, Dred Scott, the African American slave who attempted to sue for his freedom in 1857, was inducted into the hall, the Kansas City Star reports.