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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site creating Book of History

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Latoya Botterton became a United States citizen in 2013. Just a few days before the Fourth of July, her naturalization ceremony at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site (BHPS) was surrounded by American flags. Originally from Dominica, Botterton is one of nearly 1,500 people to become U.S. citizens at the presidential home on the city’s northeast side since 2003.

As the BHPS finishes its Old Glory, New Vision capital campaign to make the site more walkable and create a Citizenship Plaza, the presidential site is creating a Book of History to honor the people naturalized at BHPS. However, because that information is confidential, workers at BPHS need permission to publish names in the book, which will be housed in the Citizenship Plaza.

“We’re calling out for anyone who’s been naturalized here to share their names and to give us their expressed permission to recognize them for having been naturalized here,” Charles Hyde, president and CEO of BHPS, said. “With all the renovations, the book is one of the things I’m most excited about. … One of the most meaningful things in any given year for me is being a part of the naturalization ceremony.”

The book will be stainless steel with turnable pages and will contain names of people who have been naturalized and the year of their ceremony. Hyde said the presidential site hopes to have the book installed by July 1, when BHPS will host a naturalization ceremony.

Botterton, who is the chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Inc., encourages anyone who was naturalized at BHPS to get involved in the project.

“It is quite the honor to become a naturalized citizen,” Botterton said. “This is an opportunity for future generations to be able to see how many immigrants were naturalized at this site and was a part of that history.”

For more information on the Benjamin Harrison Book of History, email BHPS at bookofhistory@bhpsite.org.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848 or email at BreannaC@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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