WASHINGTON – House members have declared "Frank Sinatra Day," but did it their way.
Lawmakers didn't get around to voting until Tuesday on a resolution supporting May 13, 2008 — last Tuesday — as the day honoring the late singer and Academy-Award-winning actor. Making up for lost time, the House voted 402-3 to do just that.
Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., sponsor of the non-binding resolution and ostensibly the House's biggest Sinatra fan, told the House how he was introduced to the English language by listening to Sinatra records after his father returned from World War II.
The Puerto Rico-born lawmaker said his father, speaking in Spanish, said English "takes a bad rap" when people say it is not a romantic language. "He said, if you listen to the way this man sings the English language, you'll realize that indeed it is a romantic language if sung properly."
Serrano, 64, said he has 2,000 Sinatra songs on his iPod and owns all his records and movies.
On May 13, Serrano joined Sinatra's daughter and son, Nancy and Frank, Jr., and U.S. Postal Service officials in New York to unveil a new 42-cent commemorative Sinatra stamp.
Sinatra was also honored in 1997 when President Clinton signed into law legislation awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his accomplishments as an entertainer and humanitarian. The internationally known singer, who had a popular rendering of the song "My Way," died on May 14, 1998, at age 82.
Serrano said that "nothing more than scheduling" was responsible for the late vote.
"May 13 came up on us a little sooner than expected," the congressman said.