Bridge Named After Famous Jamestown-Area Attorney and Judge

Catharine Young

November 01, 2012

Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell dedicate bridge to Robert H. Jackson

JAMESTOWN – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- Olean) was joined by Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R,C,I- Jamestown) at a ceremony to name the Interstate 86 bridge which crosses over Strunk Road in the Town of Ellicott as the "Robert H. Jackson Memorial Bridge." Today’s ceremony took place at the Robert H. Jackson Center, located at 305 East Fourth Street in Jamestown, New York.

“It is important to celebrate historic figures from our communities. There is no better example of this than Jamestown’s Robert H. Jackson,” said Senator Young. “After serving as a Supreme Court Justice and a key player in post World War II international judicial matters, it is fitting that Robert H. Jackson be honored for his role and profound impact on United States and world history.”

Robert H. Jackson grew up near Jamestown, and spent his early adult career as a lawyer in the city. He later served in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration in a variety of roles including Solicitor General and Attorney General. In 1941 he was nominated by President Roosevelt to serve on the Supreme Court, a position he held until he died in 1954.

Internationally, Supreme Court Justice Jackson was instrumental in the creation of the Nuremberg Trials following World War II. He served as the chief prosecutor for the United States during the trials, giving the opening and closing statements and cross-examining three of the accused war criminals himself. He considered his work in designing and conducting these trials as the most important in his lifetime. The legal precedents set during the Nuremberg Trials continue to affect international law to this day.

“We deeply appreciate the efforts of Senator Young and Assemblyman Goodell to successfully pass legislation that renames the I-86 Strunk Road Bridge in honor of one of the greatest jurists of the 20th century, Robert H. Jackson,” said James C. Johnson, President and CEO of the Robert H. Jackson Center. “Indeed, Jackson’s life path rose from his early experiences with the people and places he encountered right here. It was here that he learned the timeless ideals of justice and fairness that would take him from country lawyer to becoming one of history’s greatest influencers of world law.”

"Justice Jackson's family is deeply honored by the naming of the interstate highway bridge in his memory. We hope it serves as a bridge between Jamestown's distinguished past and its promising future," said Thomas Loftus, Robert H. Jackson’s grandson and board member at the Robert H. Jackson Center.

The idea for naming the bridge came from Lee Harkness, Executive Director of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, as a creative way to promote the Jamestown area by recognizing a historic figure from the city.

“This bridge will serve as a reminder to future generations of Justice Jackson’s role in our shared history. I hope it will draw more visitors to Jamestown, and specifically to the Robert H. Jackson Center where they can learn more about his tremendous accomplishments,” added Senator Young.

“With this bridge, we will not only pay tribute to this great man, but also draw attention to the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown. The naming of this bridge allows us to indirectly advertise the Robert H. Jackson Center on Interstate 86, thus promoting yet another great asset for Chautauqua County,” noted Goodell.