Bush signs Hallowed Ground legislation


On May 8, President Bush endorsed the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area signing the 38thand most historicNational Heritage Area into law.

The legislation, S. 2739, passed the House on April 29, by a vote of 291 to 117 and the Senate on April 10, 2008, by a vote of 91 to 4. Th e JTHG NHA recognizes the unparalleled cultural, historic and scenic resources within the entire JTHG corridorthe region that generally follows the Old Carolina Road (Rt. 15/231) from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania through Maryland, to Monticello in Albemarle County, VA.

This region, known as Where America Happened, holds more American history than any other region in the country with nine Presidential homes (Ash Lawn-Highland and Oak Hill (Monroe), Kennedys Country Home, Camp Hoover, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Montebello (Taylor), Monticello (Jeff erson), Montpelier (Madison), Pine Knot (Roosevelt), and Camp David, 73 National Historic Districts, the largest collection of Civil War Battlefi elds, signifi cant sites from the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, 15 historic Main Street communities, numerous scenic roads, rivers and landscapes.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is a public-private partnership comprised of every elected body within the four-state region and over 150 other partner organizations all working collaboratively to provide opportunities for interpretive historic, heritage education and recreational programs that celebrate the unparalleled American heritage found along this region. The National Heritage Area designation is a national honor that will expand opportunities for economic development, particularly within the heritage tourism industry, as well as the educational programs for students of every age. This designation will serve as a springboard to encourage Americans and others to Take the Journey and discover what those who came before us created on this hallowed ground.

We are thrilled that the President has signed the legislation to create the Journey Th rough Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, said Cate Magennis Wyatt, President of the JTHG Partnership. This historic Act of Congress would not have been possible without the leadership of Senator John Warner, Congressman Frank Wolf and the leadership of each member of Congress within this four-state corridor. We applaud the work of our Partners, as their eff orts and vision are responsible for todays national recognition, and I share their pride as we accept this designation.

In addition to its lead sponsor, Senator John Warner (R-VA), the national heritage area legislation, which was originally introduced as S. 289, was co-sponsored by Senators Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Jim Webb (D-VA).

The Journey Th rough Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area shines light on a region that holds great signifi cance to the history of this Nation, said Senator John Warner. I will continue to work with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership and support eff orts that bring opportunity to the region and its visitors.

I am extremely pleased that the Senate recognized the importance of Maryland and our regions unique place in our nations history, said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin. The creation of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area will provide a wonderful opportunity to ensure that future generations have a much better appreciation of Americas past and of Marylands important contributions to it.

In the House, the legislation was fi rst introduced as H.R. 319, as sponsored by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA). Th e bill was co-sponsored by Representatives Richard H. Baker (R-LA), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the late Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), Tom Davis (R-VA), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Jim Mc-Crery (R-LA), Jim P. Moran (D-VA), Todd Russell Platts (R-PA), Ted Poe (R-TX), C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), John P. Sarbanes (D-MD), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-PA), Robert C. Scott (D-VA), Mark E. Souder (R-IN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Albert Russell Wynn (D-MD).

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground is something that each and every citizen should have the chance to experience, said Congressman Frank Wolf. The rich history of our nation can be traced directly to this corridor and I am proud to be a Partner in the eff ort to celebrate this hallowed ground.

The Journey legislation had strong bipartisan support including that of four governors, state legislators, and the endorsement of every town, county, borough council and board of commissioners throughout the 175-mile corridor. The JTHG NHA has also garnered broad-based support from local business groups, tourism offi cials, non-profi torganizations, educators and citizens living along the region.