New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently announced the newest inductees into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
The hall honors New Jerseyans who have made their mark in the fields of history, entertainment, enterprise, sports or in other fields such as education, the military, and politics.
Many inductees were born or raised in the Garden State; some still live here or have other significant ties to New Jersey.
Here is the newest class: actors John Travolta and Queen Latifah, singer Tony Bennett.business and media magnate Martha Stewart, football greats Franco Harris and Joe Theismann, actor Bruce Willis, World War II heroes John Basilone and Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, novelist Mary Higgins Clark, jazz great Bucky Pizzarelli, business owner Leon Hess and former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne.
The red-carpet induction ceremony will be in June at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
Previous inductees include Bruce Springsteen, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Yogi Berra. Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Les Paul, Count Basie, and Carl Lewis were inducted last May.
But I have a simple question: What's Brendan t Byrne doing in this group?
I have nothing against Governor Byrne. He seems to be a nice person. In fact, I even supported him when he ran for office. But, other than being Governor and giving New Jersey the income tax, what did he do?
Certainly, I can think of other Governors of New Jersey who were more effective and more popular, particularly Tom Kean and Richard J. Hughes.
Dick Hughes was one of the most significant figures in the whole history of New Jersey. He was a two-term governor, an innovative national leader and a man of unquestioned character. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson seriously considered Governor Hughes for the Vice-Presidential spot on the Democratic ticket. After his service as Governor was done, Dick Hughes served as Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. In that position he helped create a modern, unified court system that is now a model for other states.He was a tireless, unselfish public servant who dedicated most of his life to the public good.
I've checked over the list of Hall of Fame inductees thus far and I don't see Governor Hughes in there. Why?
Why is Brendan Byrne being admitted and not Dick Hughes?
And why was former Senator Bill Bradley admitted and not Dick Hughes?
And why hasn't former Governor Alfred E. Driscoll been admitted?
It was Governor Driscoll who devised the plans for the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Governor Driscoll also nominated William Brennan to his first judicial post and later promoted him to the New Jersey Supreme Court. This was long before Brennan became an iconic member of the United States Supreme Court.
You're telling me that Byrne is admitted ahead of Hughes and Driscoll?
Sorry, I don't get it.