Manuel Lujan Jr.
After representing New Mexico for 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Manuel Lujan Jr. was appointed Secretary of the Interior by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. Seeking to learn more about Manassas because of the mall-development controversy there, Lujan was captivated by Civil War stories told by his National Park Service chief historian, Ed Bearss, and became one of the most effective leaders in the modern preservation movement’s early years. He was the driving force behind creation of the original Civil War Trust in 1991 and that same year was also responsible for creating the congressional Civil War Sites Advisory Commission and the federal American Battlefield Protection Program. The ABPP continues today, administering preservation grants, while the commission’s 1993 report on battlefields continues to be a primary evaluation tool for the American Battlefield Trust.