Public Papers

Statement on Signing the Bill Establishing the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis County, Missouri


Today I have signed into law H.R. 1529, an Act to establish the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis County, Missouri. This action will preserve White Haven, an estate owned by President Grant and his wife Julia Dent.

The Grants lived together at White Haven during the crucial pre-Civil War years. It was during this time that Grant's strength of character was developed through economic adversity. Traits formed then -- a relentless pursuit of success and a determination to move ahead despite temporary setbacks -- later served Grant well both as an incomparable military leader and as President of the United States.

White Haven appears to be the only intact setting appropriate for commemorating the entire range of Grant's heroic deeds and public service. Accordingly, White Haven will be a worthy addition to the National Park System.

At the same time, I am disappointed that the Congress did not accept the Department of the Interior's recommendation that performance of a formal new area study precede establishment of this Historic Site. Such studies enable the National Park Service to examine the suitability, feasibility, and alternatives for managing proposed new park units.

In the future, the Congress will consider many more proposals for new National Park System units. I firmly believe that formal new area studies, conducted under the management policies of the National Park Service, assist this process and lead to better decision-making. To protect the integrity and viability of the National Park System, completion of such a study should be a prerequisite for establishment of any new unit of the National Park System.

George Bush

The White House,

October 2, 1989.

Note: H.R. 1529, approved October 3, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 106.