AP: Grants That Saved Important Relics Now Endangered

(3-9-10) "As Hillary Rodham Clinton was leaving the White House, she asked Laura Bush first lady to first lady to continue one program if nothing else the historic preservation program Save America's Treasures...Now, the grant program Clinton created that helped restore the original star-spangled banner, Rosa Parks' bus, President Lincoln's summer cottage in Washington and hundreds of sites across the country is on the current administration's chopping block.

"The unfortunate thing is we had no warning" the program was being wiped out of President Barack Obama's budget, said Bobbie Greene McCarthy, who has overseen the program at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was Clinton's deputy chief of staff. "It was like being hit by a truck."

The program has paid out nearly $294 million over the past decade to more than 1,100 different sites and generated at least $377 million more in matching funds, according to the National Trust. The National Park Service administers the program, but the nonprofit trust is its chief advocate and helps coordinate applicants.

Historic preservation advocates have shifted into survival mode...."

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