JEFFERSON CITY — There will be no annual “Rush Limbaugh Day” in Missouri, at least for now.

The proposed day honoring the late controversial talk-radio host was removed from SB 72 by a conference committee, whose report was approved by the Senate Wednesday.

The bill originally passed by the Senate in February only contained language creating a “Missouri Fox Trotter Week.” In the House, more than a dozen amendments were added, including one to create “Rush Limbaugh Day.”

After the conference committee process, the bill approved by the Senate is left with 11 designations — with none honoring Limbaugh.

Those designations include: Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, Mark Twain Day, Iron Curtain Speech Day, John Jordan ‘Buck’ O’Neil Day, Missouri Fox Trotter Week, Walthall Moore Day, Limb Loss Awareness Month, Pioneering Black Women’s Day and Hazel Erby Day.

Pioneering Black Women’s day would honor Gwen B. Giles, the first Black woman to serve in the Missouri Senate.

The bill would also designate the Gateway Arch in St. Louis as the official state monument.

The potential for a “Rush Limbaugh Day” came with a great deal of controversy, mostly due to the varying opinions on the man himself.

Many credit Limbaugh, who was born in Cape Girardeau and died in February, with creating a conservative movement — with his voice airing through the speakers of millions of Americans’ radios.

“Rush demonstrated courage to speak boldly and encouraged his listeners and viewers to reach for their dreams and to push onward beyond the naysayers and discouragers that we all encounter in life,” Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, said when the day was being debated in the House.

For his critics, Limbaugh was at best divisive and at worst bigoted.

Limbaugh was known for many controversies, including mocking the deaths of members of the LGBTQ community during the AIDS epidemic.

Limbaugh also claimed early in the COVID-19 pandemic that the virus was merely a “common cold” being “weaponized” against then-President Donald Trump. Trump awarded Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 2020.

“To be clear: there is NOTHING about Rush Limbaugh that I want to celebrate,” Rep. Keri Ingle, D-Lee’s Summit, said in a tweet Tuesday.

Attempts to name a portion of Interstate 55 in Cape Girardeau after Limbaugh have also stalled.

  • State Government Reporter, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Reach me at wickerperlis@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 573-882-5700

  • Mark Horvit is the state government editor. Call me at 817-726-1621 with story ideas, tips or complaints.

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