Senators Propose Special Day To Honor National Symbol

Knoxville (AP) -- Back from the brink of extinction, the Bald Eagle may get its own special day for the nation to celebrate.

Senator Lamar Alexander, along with several co-sponsors introduced a resolution designating June 20, 2007 as "American Eagle Day."

In a news conference in Washington Thursday, Alexander praised the species' comeback.

By the 1960s, habitat loss, hunting and pesticides had reduced the population to about 400 nesting pairs.

The most recent count last year estimated there are now more than 7,000 nesting pairs.

Efforts by wildlife agencies and conservation organizations are credited with the eagle's rebound.

Tennessee-based American Eagle Foundation brought the stadium-flying eagle Challenger to Thursday's ceremony.

June 20 was selected because it was on that date in 1782 that the Second Continental Congress selected the Bald Eagle as the country's national emblem.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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