Book Cover "The Origin & Evolution of the National Military Park Idea" by Ronald F. Lee 1973




General Observations

Monuments for
American Revolution Battlefields

The First Battlefield Parks

Later Evolution of the National Military Park Idea





Ronald F. Lee

Ronald F. Lee retired in 1965 as Director of the Northeast Region of the National Park Service. Previously he had held numerous positions of high responsibility in the Service, including Assistant Director and Chief Historian. He was one of the principal architects of the national historic preservation program launched by the Historic Sites Act of 1935. He was also instrumental in giving shape and direction to the broadened program authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

After his retirement, Ronnie served as a special assistant to the Director of the National Park Service. Among his many contributions in that capacity was a series of studies of the evolution of National Park Service policies and programs. His immensely imaginative and valuable presentation of the "Family Tree of the National Park System" was published the week before he died in 1972. His study of the Antiquities Act of 1906 was reproduced and given wide distribution in 1970.

Even before undertaking the Antiquities Act project, Ronnie began work on a history of the National Military Parks. He completed a draft and several revisions but was never fully satisfied. The Antiquities Act and then the family tree diverted him.

Several times I urged Ronnie to let us reproduce the military park study. He always declined with the explanation that he wanted to do more research and give more thought to the subject. Death prevented him from returning to this project. Because the manuscript contains so much of value and interest, we are now making it available in the same format as its companion study of the Antiquities Act.

Robert M. Utley
Assistant Director,
Park Historic Preservation
National Park Service

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