American Historical Association Response to Executive Order 13233. (Features)

Article excerpt

November 19, 2001

The Honorable Stephen Horn, Chairman
Committee on Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Horn,

I write on behalf of the American Historical Association (AHA) concerning Executive Order 13233 issued November 1 by President George W. Bush. Founded in 1884, the AHA is the nation's oldest and largest association for scholars and teachers of history. Since it was chartered by the Congress in 1889 for "the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical documents and artifacts, and the dissemination of historical research," the Association has maintained a steadfast concern for the preservation and availability of federal government records, pressing for the publication of diplomatic and other documents in the late 19th century, advocating for the establishment of the National Archives in the 1930s and, more recently, supporting the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

In his February 28, 1978 testimony to the Congress in support of the Presidential Records Act, my predecessor Mack Thompson strongly endorsed the principle of public ownership of presidential records that the legislation embodied. …