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Executive Order Number 08-02

May 08, 2008

Executive Order Number 08-02 (PDF, 43 KB)

State Of Illinois Executive Department - Springfield, Illinois 
NUMBER 2 (2008)


WHEREAS, Congressman Ken Gray was a native son of Illinois, born in West Frankfort, Illinois on November 14, 1924 as the youngest of three sons to Thomas Wilson Gray and Anna (Reed) Gray; and

WHEREAS, the Gray family moved to the Shawnee Forest in Pope County and Ken Gray attended the Wooten School; and

WHEREAS, the Gray family returned to Franklin County and Ken Gray graduated from Frankfort Community High School in 1942; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray served two additional terms in the United States Congress beginning in 1985; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray joined the United States Army Air Corps at the age of 17, became a helicopter pilot known as the "Flying Sergeant," and served as a crew chief with the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa and participated in combat missions over southern France and central Europe before his discharge in 1945; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray was awarded three Bronze Stars, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and Marksman Badge with carbine bar; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray returned to West Frankfort and served as Commander of the American Legion; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray was first elected to the United States Congress in 1954 and served ten consecutive terms; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray served two additional terms in the United States Congress beginning in 1985; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray was instrumental in bringing the interstate highway system to Southern Illinois and was a relentless advocate for economic development for the communities in Southern Illinois; and

WHEREAS, Ken Gray has founded the "U.S. Congressman Ken Gray Presidential Museum," a museum in his hometown of West Frankfort displaying a collection of presidential memorabilia, a history of coal mining in Southern Illinois, and other artifacts from his many years of public service; and

WHEREAS, as Governor of Illinois, I wish to permanently commemorate the distinguished career of Congressman Ken Gray and his personal connection to Interstate 57 and the State of Illinois.

THEREFORE, I hereby order the following:

  1. The portion of Interstate 57 commencing at the Illinois State Line at Mile Post 0 and ending at the Marion-Jefferson County Line at Mile Post 106 shall be designated the Ken Gray Expressway.

  2. The Illinois Department of Transportation shall erect appropriate plaques or signs giving notice of the Ken Gray Expressway.

  3. This Executive Order shall be in full force and effect upon its filing with the Secretary of State.

Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor
Issued by Governor: May 8, 2008
Filed with Secretary of State: May 8, 2008