Clinton, Gore plan Earth Day Harpers Ferry visit

April 18, 1998


Staff Writer

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - An advance team of White House officials toured Harpers Ferry National Historical Park on Friday to set up a visit by President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on Wednesday.

The two will be in Harpers Ferry as part of the 22nd annual Earth Day activities.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park spokeswoman Marsha Starkey said the plans were still being worked out Friday.

She said the president and vice president have expressed interest in seeing the Appalachian Trail, the national headquarters for which is in Harpers Ferry.

Clinton will be the first sitting president to visit Harpers Ferry since Jimmy Carter, Starkey said.

Nancy Reagan also visited Harpers Ferry when she was first lady, Starkey said.

President John F. Kennedy made Harpers Ferry a national park, but signed the legislation in Washington, D.C., and is not believed to have visited the park, she said.


Starkey said there were no plans to "spruce up" the park for the president's visit.

"I like to think we try to work hard every day for each visitor to the park. They own the national parks, so we try to treat all of our visitors first-class," Starkey said.

Park officials are working with White House officials to prepare for the visit.

Starkey said security for the president would be handled by the U.S. Secret Service. She said she could not discuss any security plans.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park intends to mark Earth Day on Saturday, April 25, instead of the traditional April 22 because the park has more visitors on weekends, she said.

Special tours and wildlife conservation displays are planned at Harpers Ferry for Saturday's Earth Day festivities.

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