Senator Robert C. Byrd Dies

On June 28, 2010, Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), the longest-serving Member of Congress, passed away. Senator Byrd was 92 years old. Senator Byrd was considered the “father” of the Teaching American History Grants program at the U.S. Department of Education. Since its inception in fiscal year 2001, nearly $1 billion in federal dollars have been spent to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American history.

Clinton Library Releases 170,000 Pages of Kagan Records

On June 21, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library opened a final batch of 1,750 pages of files relating to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s tenure at the White House Domestic Policy Council and the White House Counsel’s Office. The Clinton Library has released approximately 170,000 pages since the initial request for Kagan’s records was made in a May 18, 2010, letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.

NEH Announces $20 Million in Grants and Awards

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $20 million in grant awards and offers for 120 humanities projects. New funding supports a wide variety of projects nationwide, including traveling exhibitions, collaborative research, scholarly editions, advanced scholarly training in digital humanities, digitization of historic newspapers, programming offered by state humanities councils, and preservation of cultural heritage collections.

National Park Service Names New Cultural Resources Head

National Park Service (NPS) Director Jonathan Jarvis recently named Stephanie Smith Toothman, Ph.D., as the Service’s new Associate Director for Cultural Resources. Toothman will be responsible for history, historic preservation, and cultural programs in 392 national parks and a host of community programs that make-up the NPS role in a national preservation partnership among federal, Tribal, state and local governments and nonprofits. She will begin her job in mid July.

Morphy Retires as National Archives CIO

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero recently announced the retirement of Martha Morphy, Assistant Archivist for Information Services and the agency’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), effective July 2, 2010. Charles Piercy, Deputy CIO, will be Acting Assistant Archivist for Information Services and Acting CIO, until a permanent replacement is named.

New Director of Education Named at the Smithsonian

Claudine K. Brown has been named director of education for the Smithsonian Institution, effective June 20. Brown, 60, has been the director of the arts and culture program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York since 1995.