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Vivian R. Johnson

Retired educator Vivian R. Johnson was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Los Angeles, California where she graduated from Polytechnic High School in 1952 and entered the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1955, she became the first African American elected as a Women’s Representative on the Student Council. Influenced by the UCLA University Religious Conference (URC), Johnson was chosen to participate in the URC sponsored Project India in 1953 where she worked with Indian students to build a one-room school house in a village near Calcutta, India. Following receipt of her B.A. degree in English/Speech from UCLA in 1956 and a year of graduate studies, she traveled to the East Coast with her husband, Willard R. Johnson. For four years, she served as a scholarship assistant placing students from newly independent African nations in American universities for the Africa-American Institute in Washington, D.C. and Harvard University’s African Scholarship Program of American Universities.

From 1968 to 1972, Johnson served as a social studies curriculum writer for the Newton Massachusetts Public Schools. In Boston, Massachusetts, she founded a resource center on African American culture and directed Reading is Yours to Keep, Inc. from 1973 to 1978 in which parents were trained to tutor students. In 1974, she received the Certificate of Advanced Study and in 1975 the Doctorate in Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

From 1976 to 1980, Johnson served as a consultant to a number of educational institutions including multicultural film evaluation for WGBH Boston, curriculum development for University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University College and school-staff development for Boston University’s African Studies Outreach Program. After serving as Co-Coordinator of the Collaborative Planning Study for the College and University Planning Program with the Boston Public Schools, in 1980, Johnson began a six-year tenure as the Campus Coordinator for Boston University School of Medicine’s Strengthening Health Delivery Systems Program operating in twenty countries in central and west Africa.

In 1987, Johnson was a Scholar in Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy, where she completed the book West African governments and volunteer development organizations : priorities for partnership, co-authored with her husband. In 1989, she joined the faculty at Boston University’s School of Education as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Administration, Training and Policy Studies. During her time at Boston University, Johnson received the prestigious Fulbright Summer Seminar Award to study multicultural education in Indonesia.

After retiring from Boston University as Associate Professor Emerita in 2003, Johnson’s work in her specialties continued. In 2005, she joined her colleagues in teaching a summer course in Geneva, Switzerland, and she co-authored a book on family, school and community partnership in education published in 2007.

Throughout her career, Johnson has been involved with numerous civic organizations including serving on the Board of Directors of the Trust for Public Land, National Audubon Society, Oxfam America and the National Center of Afro-American Artists.

Vivian R. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.260

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/13/2007 |and| 10/11/2012

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Polytechnic High School

Ralph F. Wilson Elementary School

Betsy Ross Elementary School

University of California, Los Angeles

Harvard Graduate School of Education

First Name

Vivian

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

JOH32

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa, Mexico

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

7/24/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mangoes

Short Description

Education professor Vivian R. Johnson (1935 - ) was a member of the faculty at Boston University’s School of Education as an associate clinical professor in the Department of Administration, Training, and Policy Studies.

Employment

Boston University. School of Education

Africa-America Institute

Harvard University African Scholarship Program of American Universities

Newton Massachusetts School District

Resource Center on African American Culture

Reading Is Yours To Keep, Inc.

WGBH TV

Kenyatta University College

University of Nairobi

Boston University. African Studies Outreach Program

Boston Public Schools

Boston University. School of Medicine

Rockefeller Foundation

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vivian R. Johnson's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers researching her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her maternal family's move to Muscogee, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her family's interest in African American history

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers reading African American newspapers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her mother's experiences in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls how her mother and stepfather met

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the segregation of schools in the South

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her maternal grandfather's role in the Universal Negro Improvement Association

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Birdielee V. Bright

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her aspirations to become a teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her early interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her interest in theater

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the neighborhood of West Los Angeles

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls joining the debate team

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her involvement with the debate team

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers her prom dress

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls graduating from John H. Francis Polytechnic High School

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her brother, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her brother, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the Stevens House at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the Panel of Americans at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Project India, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Project India, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her experiences in Paris, France

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her first impressions of India

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Adeline Gunther

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Lillian Granderson

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls assisting a student from Malawi

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls learning about colonial independence movements

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the poverty in India

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Vivian R. Johnson's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls returning to the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers marrying Willard Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her mentors at the University of California, Los Angeles

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her early career in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls working with the Circle Associates

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers her interest in African American history

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her husband's early career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the Circle Associates' resource center

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the desegregation of Boston Public Schools, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls the success of Reading is Yours to Keep

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson explains her challenges with the Boston Public Schools

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls coordinating an international public health program, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls coordinating an international public health program, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers studying international development organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about the American Museum of Negro History in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Sue Bailey Thurman

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her interest in Boston's African American history

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about the Institute for Responsive Education

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers Dr. James Comer

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls teaching at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson remembers training teachers in Portugal

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls conducting education research abroad

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her experiences abroad

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her success as a teacher trainer

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the Trust for Public Land

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about Tremont Crossing, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about Tremont Crossing, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her work with international students

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Vivian R. Johnson recalls her retirement from Boston University

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her collaborations with WBGH-TV

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her book, 'Beyond the Bake Sale'

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about the Young People's Project

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Vivian R. Johnson describes the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Vivian R. Johnson describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her older daughter

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her younger daughter

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Vivian R. Johnson reflects upon her life

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Vivian R. Johnson talks about her daughters' international travels

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Vivian R. Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$7

DAStory

1$4

DATitle
Vivian R. Johnson remembers Birdielee V. Bright
Vivian R. Johnson recalls coordinating an international public health program, pt. 1
Transcript
Yeah, we were talking about Miss Bright's [Birdielee V. Bright] class and--$$Yes, the marvels of Miss Bright's class. Miss Bright not only insisted that you be helpful to others, but she provided all the support each of us needed; everything, anything she could do to make certain that you learned, was done, and Miss Bright taught us the skills that we have carried throughout our lives in, in a number of areas; let me give one example. There was no library in our local elementary school [36th Street School; Birdielee V. Bright Elementary School, Los Angeles, California], and so we were lined up and walked to the public library that was, I would estimate, let's call it, six or seven blocks from our school. Before going to the public library, we had a library skills class that I (laughter), I have drawn on forever because Miss Bright not only taught us the Dewey Decimal System [Dewey Decimal Classification] and what it was and why it was, but she helped us to imagine interest that we didn't already have; we knew that we had specific goals for that library visit, but she would then let us think about, or influence us to think about, the Dewey Decimal System as a way of imagining all of the knowledge that you can examine in the world, and so therefore, her ability to capture your imagination and to take you inside yourself in a way that you could dream and reach was just extraordinary. She did that also about our little garden in the back of the school; that was one of our science projects. And so you were encouraged to learn about how things grow in terms of growth--your own growth, the growth of cities, changes in environments, so when I think about climate change now, I smile and I think about how Miss Bright would teach about climate change because everything she taught was done in this context of you and your development, and your development was connected always to the development of your family and your community, and your community was the world. So she was just an extraordinary (laughter) human being, gifted in all kinds of ways--gifted instructionally, and I'm an educator and I know how important that is--but gifted motivationally so that she could literally inspire on a daily basis, and she did. She was also a no-nonsense person. You did not, quote, waste time in Miss Bright's class, and she said the reason that you don't waste time is that it is yours, and you don't waste what you have. These are things (laughter) that we learned, as I said, in the fourth--and of course we were terrified of her--terrified. We--I, I would visit her later on in Los Angeles [California], and I would tell her how terrified we were, and she said, "I would see you sitting there, all of you, quaking, and I thought, all right, now I've gotten their attention" (laughter). So she had a marvelous sense of humor, she knew what she was doing, and she did it very well.$$Now, did she use corporal punishment where they--$$Occasionally, I think she did. I think she rapped on some knuckles, but she was not a--an abusive human being in any way, shape or form; abuse was not what she was about. What she was about was development of the human spirit, development of specific skills, learning in the traditional sense, and learning beyond the school house.$Nineteen eighty [1980] you started--$$In 1980, I was asked by Dr. David French [David M. French] at the Boston University School of Medicine [Boston, Massachusetts] to become his campus coordinator, the backup person at Boston University, because he was conducting a primary health care training program in twenty countries in West Africa, and he needed someone who would run the office at Boston University because he had his office established in Abidjan in Cote d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast, and he needed to have a coordinator who would take care of all of the administration of that program back at Boston University. I began doing that in 1980 and continued until the program ended in 1986, and it was really a challenging and very interesting experience. The program required that nurses be given additional training, and those nurses were brought to the United States, and if they were English-speaking, they went to the Boston University School of Nursing [Boston, Massachusetts]; if they were French-speaking, and many of them were--incidentally, there were fifteen francophone countries and five Anglophone countries--they went to Montreal [Canada]. So I was in fact paying the expenses--all of the, the fees and, and all of the expenses for nurses in two universities for six years, and those nurses received their training, went back to their countries, and were then able to open clinics in other parts--more--in remote parts of the country. They had come from the urban hospital centers, and now they were trained to work in the remote areas. The program was very successful; it had been requested, incidentally, by the twenty ministers of health of those countries, and it was requested of World Health Organization who in turn requested funding from our state department--from the U.S. state department [U.S. Department of State]. So the program had, in that sense, many people who were interested in and enthusiastic about it, and what David wanted was someone who would report to most of those actors so that he could get on with the program, and that's what I did for six years. I also got all of the equipment out to the field because the U.S. Congress requires that we buy American equipment; also that we fly over the Atlantic [Atlantic Ocean] and Pacific [Pacific Ocean] on American-owned carriers, so that all of the arrangements for travel, the arrangements for vehicles, the arrangements for computers had to be made in this country and all those things shipped to Abidjan. I went to Abidjan about once every three months, and literally connected the office in Abidjan, including office management and benefits, with Boston University; it was a very complex and unusual arrangement.$$So this is, this is every, every three months for six years.$$That's right.$$And--now, you were telling me you had, you had to deal with about twelve boxes of (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That's right; I had to take--$$--papers.$$That's right. I had to take office equipment material--remember, this is the Boston University, so it's gotta have Boston University stationery; it is a Boston (laughter) University office in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. So, in order to make that office act like a Boston University office, with all of its procedures and regulations and so on, we took materials--I took materials actually on the plane, flying from Boston [Massachusetts] through Paris [France] and, and then to Abidjan, and I took about ten or a dozen boxes with me every time. And the miracle is that in six years, I never lost a box--not even delayed.

Robert Stanton

Robert George Stanton was born on September 22, 1940 in Forth Worth, Texas. His mother was a short order cook and his father was a hay contractor. He grew up in Mosier Valley, one of the oldest African American communities in Texas, settled by free slaves. He graduated from I.M. Terrell High School in Forth Worth in 1959.

He earned his bachelor's of science degree from Huston-Tillotson College in Austin in 1963. The summer of his junior year in college he began his career with the National Park Service. Borrowing $250, he bought a train ticket to Wyoming and a park ranger's uniform and worked as a seasonal ranger at Grand Teton National Park. Stanton, along with several other African Americans, was recruited by then Interior Secretary, Stewart Udall who traveled to predominately Black college campuses recruiting students.

In 1963, Stanton began his graduate studies at Boston University and went back to Huston-Tillotson to work as the director of public relations and alumni affairs from 1964 until 1966. That year, he took a full time job with the Park Service as a personnel management and public information specialist in the Washington, D.C. headquarters office. In 1969, he became a management assistant and in 1970, he was appointed superintendent of Virgin Islands National Park in St. Thomas. In 1974, Stanton became deputy regional director of the Southeast Region of the National Park Service in Atlanta and in 1976 he returned to Washington, D.C. as assistant director of park operations. In 1978, Stanton was named deputy regional director of the National Capital Region, where he remained until 1986. In 1987, he returned to headquarters as associate director for operations, and in 1988, he became the first African American to serve as director of the National Park Service. Stanton's nomination for the post by former President Clinton was the first that had to be approved by the U.S. Senate…he was confirmed unanimously. He retired from that position in 2003.

Stanton currently works as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M teaching courses on conservation. He has also taught at Yale University and been the recipient of numerous awards for his civic work and environmental stewardship.

Accession Number

A2004.110

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/27/2004 |and| 8/11/2004

Last Name

Stanton

Maker Category
Schools

I. M. Terrell High School

Mosier Valley School

Huston-Tillotson University

Boston University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Worth

HM ID

STA04

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

National Parks

Favorite Quote

Mankind Differ As The Waves But Are As One As The Sea

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/22/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak, Potatoes

Short Description

Federal government official Robert Stanton (1940 - ) is the first African American to serve as director of the National Park Service.

Employment

Grand Teton National Park

Huston-Tillotson College

National Park Service

Virgin Islands National Park

Texas A&M University

Yale University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Stanton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton talks about his Mosier Valley ancestry and his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton describes his earliest childhood memory and names his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton talks about the Mosier Valley community in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Stanton remembers efforts to improve African American children's schooling in Mosier Valley, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Stanton describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Stanton describes his experience at Mosier Valley Elementary School in Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Stanton talks about early adolescence and his brother's death in the Korean War

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Stanton talks about his adolescent influences and busing to I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Stanton describes his high school experience in Fort Worth, Texas and his aspirations as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Stanton remembers Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton remembers being recruited to work for the U.S. Department of the Interior in the summer of 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton remembers working in Grand Teton National Park during the summer of 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton talks about working for Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas and returning to the National Park Service

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton talks about the beginning of his career at the National Park Service and meeting his wife

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton talks about working as superintendent of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton talks about his work as deputy regional director of the Southeast Region and assistant director of the National Park Service

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Stanton recalls his tenure as deputy regional director of the National Capital Region of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Stanton talks about climbing the National Park Service hierarchy to serve as the director

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton remembers the director of National Park Service nomination process

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton describes his accomplishments as director of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton describes congressional oversight hearings he experienced as director of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton reflects upon African American's interaction with the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton talks about challenges facing the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton talks about what he would like to have done as director of the National Park Service

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Stanton talks about the National Park Service's role in preserving African American history

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Stanton talks about his favorite national parks and the parks he has yet to visit

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Stanton recalls teaching at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and bringing students to the World Park Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Stanton talks about his current consultation and board work

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Stanton reflects upon how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Stanton reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Stanton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Stanton narrates his photograph, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Stanton narrates his photographs, pt.2

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Robert Stanton talks about the beginning of his career at the National Park Service and meeting his wife
Robert Stanton describes his accomplishments as director of the National Park Service
Transcript
What were you doing for the [National] Park Service [NPS] in 1966?$$My first appointment was in personnel management and public information.$$And you held that position until 1969?$$Until 1969 and then I was reassigned to, to the National Capital Region [NCR] in a park position as a management assistant.$$Um-hm.$$And I served in that position until 1970. Our director of the park service at that time did something similar to, to what [Secretary of the Interior] Stewart Udall did, he looked at the faces of all of his superintendents from South Pacific to Maine, from Alaska to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and did not see one black face among the hundreds of superintendents. And he too said, "This is a new day," and he and my regional director at that time and--he conferred with the regional director and also with his deputy director and said that we were going to make an appointment and I have the distinction of being, and I say this with all humility, of being the first African American to be appointed by the park service as a park superintendent. The thing that's so interesting is that two individuals who made a--who played a very prominent role in that appointment, were two gentlemen who was at Grand Teton National Park [Wyoming] in '62 [1962], the original director, Russell Dickenson, when I was appointed superintendent, was my first chief ranger. And the gentleman who was the number two for the whole of the park service working with Director [George B.] Hartzog [Jr.], was [Harthon L.] Spud Bill who was the superintendent at Grand Teton, so they had a lot of influence on me. But I might mention the other thing about the Teton experience. As I mentioned earlier, Secretary Udall directed his staff to recruit among a fairly large number of historically black colleges and universities [HBCU], and one of the colleges they attended was Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. And I don't know how many students were selected but one I know that was selected from there, William D. Kennard [ph.] another good Omega [Psi Phi Fraternity] man I might add, also worked in Grand Teton '62 [1962] and '63 [1963]. And when I came to the Washington [D.C.] area in 1966 for my permanent job, William was a bachelor, and I was a bachelor then, and so we were about to go out on the town here in Washington and he said, "Hey [HistoryMaker] Bob [Robert Stanton], there's this young lady that just finished from Livingstone, she's now working at HUD, [U.S. Department of] Housing and Urban Development, and I've been dating a girl from Livingstone," he said, "why don't we just double date?" I said, "Sounds great to me William," you know. You probably getting two or three dates this week, you know.$$(Laughter) That would be the first of many--$$Yeah, right.$$--this week, right?$$Yeah. So the next thing I know, William was my best man; his brother was in the ministry and his brother was administering the wedding. But Teton has had a lasting experience on me but probably the best because I married Janet Moffatte [Stanton] of South Carolina and the best thing that ever happened to me, yeah, yeah, yeah.$$That's great.$$Thirty-eight years of marriage, yeah.$Tell us a little bit about some of your accomplishments as director [of the National Park Service (NPS)]?$$Well, again, a director, any, any, any accomplishment as a superintendent, management assistant, regional director, or associate director, or director, is in direct proportion to the support that you get from your staff and their motivation and their interest, and I had the best group of federal employees in the National Park Service whom I worked with daily and I think we accomplished a great deal. We accomplished a great deal on several fronts. One is in working directly with [U.S.] Congress to get new authorizations that allow for more revenues to be available to the park service to, to meet some of those needs and congress authorized new legislative authorities for the park service to have more resources at its disposal, and I was very pleased with some of those legislative accomplishments. Also further to congress, congress during my tenure as director approved nine new parks, extended the boundary of I think twenty-something parks. And two parks that came into the system while I was director speak specifically to events associated with African Americans. Little Rock Central High School [National Historic Site, Little Rock, Arkansas], which is very close to me because the nine students who integrated Little Rock Central High School [Little Rock, Arkansas] in 1957 were my peers, and that now is a national historic site. And the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site [Tuskegee, Alabama] to commemorate the bravery of those fighters notwithstanding that the [U.S.] Army or the [U.S.] military was segregated but yet they still fought valiantly in World War II [WWII]. But I also I was very proud that congress passed legislation authorizing the [National] Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and it was my great joy--$$Hmm.$$--to be invited by President [William Jefferson "Bill] Clinton to join along with a number of other distinguished citizens including Rodney [E.] Slater who was secretary of transportation at that time, Congressman Carl Stokes [sic. Ambassador Carl Stokes], (unclear) and others to witness him personally signing the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. And but also on the operational side, I think we improved the quality of interpretation, the visitor experiences when one goes to the park. One of the passions I have is to increase the involvement of young people in a program we inaugurated we call the Public Lands Corps that provided for the expanded involvement of young people. We expanded the Parks Classroom Program. We improved the safety of our employees in the work place. I was very concerned about the number of lost time injuries of our employees suffering back strains or automobile accidents and what have you, so substantially improved that. And certainly the construction of new facilities and the upgrading and maintenance of facilities. Major conservation projects included the restoration of the Everglades National Parks [sic. Everglades National Park, Florida], an agreement to remove some dams out of Olympic National Park in Washington State, alternate transportation systems at the Zion National Park in Utah, also at Acadia [National Park] in Maine. So I think a number of major improvements were made over my roughly four years as the director of the park service. Could have been more had I stayed in longer but that was not to be (laughter).$$And not your choice, not your decision.$$That's right. That's right.