Commemorations in Congress: Options for Honoring Individuals, Groups, and Events [Updated June 11, 2019] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "Since its inception, Congress has used commemorative legislation to express public gratitude for distinguished contributions; dramatize the virtues of individuals, groups, and causes; and perpetuate the remembrance of significant events. During the past two centuries, commemoratives have become an integral part of the American political tradition. They have been used to authorize the minting of commemorative coins and Congressional Gold Medals; fund monuments and memorials; create federal holidays; establish commissions to celebrate important anniversaries; and name public works, scholarships, endowments, fellowships, and historic sites."
CRS Report for Congress, R43539
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/