TRIBUTE TO RUSS SMITH; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 155
(Senate - December 16, 2014)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Page S6919]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         TRIBUTE TO RUSS SMITH

 Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, on behalf of the Delaware 
Delegation, I wish to honor the exemplary service of the superintendent 
of the First State National Historical Park, Mr. Russell P. Russ Smith. 
A native of New Castle, DE, and a devoted husband to his wife 
Jacqueline, two sons and two grandchildren, Russ returned to Delaware 
in May 2013 to cap his 42-year career with the National Park Service at 
the First State National Historical Park.
  Russ began working for the National Park Service shortly after 
earning a degree in American history from the University of Delaware. 
For the 10 years prior to his work in Delaware, he managed 
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in 
Fredericksburg, VA. His 28 years of field experience have included 
assignments at Prince William Forest Park, Fort Sumter National 
Monument, Independence National Historical Park, Hopewell Furnace 
National Historic Site and George Washington Birthplace National 
  In 11 years at Independence National Historical Park, Russ oversaw 
nearly 100 employees and was responsible for telling the park's great 
story in American history by planning interpretive programs, creating 
museum and outdoor exhibits, and developing videos and publications. In 
1989, Russ continued telling America's great stories when he was named 
chief of interpretation and visitor services for the Mid-Atlantic 
region, a position in which he pioneered the current interpretive 
planning system used by the National Park Service.
  It is fitting that his long career led him back to Delaware, where in 
March of 2013, President Barack Obama authorized sites in Delaware to 
be a part of the First State National Monument. The monument tells the 
story of early colonial settlement leading up to the ratification of 
the constitution. For the first time, Delaware was included in the 
National Park System, and Russ was back home, leading the monument as 
superintendent. Under his watch, the First State National Monument 
turned into the First State National Historical Park, finally giving 
Delaware the national park it long deserved.
  Russ has received the Mid-Atlantic Region's Freeman Tilden Award, the 
highest award for interpretation, the Director's Design Award for his 
interpretive plan for the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, a 
Superior Service Award from the Department of the Interior for 
redesigning the National Park Service interpretive planning system and 
the National Park Service's Appleman-Judd-Lewis Award for excellence in 
cultural resource management.
  Russ is a visionary and a leader. His work touched as many as 70 
national park units from Maine to West Virginia and has allowed 
Americans and visitors from around the world to understand and enjoy 
the history and beauty that our Nation's national parks and monuments 
hold. Russ has devoted his life's work to our Nation's park service and 
has done a tremendous job of inspiring others to enjoy our Nation's 
  On behalf of Senator Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney, I 
wholeheartedly thank Russ for his 42 years of service to the National 
Park Service and to our Nation. His model leadership and dedication to 
educate those of all generations is his legacy. We offer our sincere 
congratulations on a job well done, and wish him, his wife Jacqueline, 
and their family many happy, healthy and successful years to