Ken Krefft of Shreveport is serious about U.S. history. He's so serious, in fact, that he got a little too excited while reciting the Declaration of Independence -- dressed as Thomas Jefferson, complete with powdered wig -- on the Louisiana House floor yesterday.

The 68-year-old told KEEL News that when he was done with his presentation and was walking away from the podium, his knees gave out and he collapsed.

"The room started to spin, I got dizzy and light-headed. I looked up and saw two chandeliers on the ceiling, and I knew there was one," Krefft said. "So they wanted to be cautious, so they got the paramedics there, and a nice paramedic named Sarah took care of me."

Krefft said simply forgot to take his blood pressure medicine. He was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center to be checked out, and was released a short time later.

So now you're wondering...what was he doing reciting the Declaration in full colonial dress? Krefft said he drove down to Baton Rouge Wednesday evening for the Office of Group Benefits Policy and Planning Board meeting. He's one of the members, appointed by the House speaker.

Thursday morning, he was there in support of a House bill that would require some public school students to recite a passage daily from the Declaration of Independence. Once all the excitement surrounding Krefft blood pressure trouble died down, the House approved the bill on a 70-23 vote. It now moves on to the state Senate.

Krefft said he's hopeful the will pass, but it has received much criticism, particularly among African-American House members. But Krefft said race shouldn't be a factor in this discussion.

"The 15th Amendment said that the black man, 21, could vote, but the women didn't get to vote until the 19th, over 50 years later. And yet the sponsor of the bill was a woman. So even when a black man got the right to vote effectively ratified in 1870, it wasn't until 1920 that ladies got the right to vote," Krefft said. "I just think the Declaration should be an American thing and not a Republican or Democratic thing, or a white or a black thing. It's a teachable moment."

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