Thomas Joseph Ridge (born August 26, 1945) is an American politician and author who served as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security from 2001 to 2003, and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005. Prior to this, Ridge was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995 and the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Ridge was born in Munhall, Pennsylvania and raised in veterans' public housing in Erie, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Harvard University with honors, Ridge served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He then returned to Pennsylvania and completed his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at the Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1972, and entered private practice.
As assistant district attorney in Erie, Ridge ran for Congress in his district, where he served six terms. He then ran for governor in 1994, despite being little-known outside of northwest Pennsylvania. He won the election, and was reelected in 1998 with the most votes for a Republican governor in Pennsylvania (where Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost 500,000) in more than half a century. As Governor of Pennsylvania, Ridge is credited for statewide advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment. As of 2019, Ridge is the last Republican to win reelection as Pennsylvania's governor.
Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush named Ridge the first director of the newly created Office of Homeland Security. In January 2003, the Office of Homeland Security became an official Cabinet-level Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and Ridge became the first Secretary of Homeland Security. He served in these roles for Bush's first term as president, then retired and returned to the private sector.
Since re-entering the private sector, Ridge has served on the boards of The Home Depot, The Hershey Company and Exelon Corporation and as a senior advisor to Deloitte & Touche, and TechRadium. Ridge is also the founder and CEO of Ridge Global, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based security consulting firm. Ridge spent time campaigning with Senator John McCain during his 2008 bid for the presidency and was believed by some to have been on the short list of potential running mates.
|1st United States Secretary of Homeland Security|
January 24, 2003 – February 1, 2005
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Michael Chertoff|
|1st United States Homeland Security Advisor|
September 20, 2001 – January 24, 2003
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||John A. Gordon|
|43rd Governor of Pennsylvania|
January 17, 1995 – October 5, 2001
|Preceded by||Bob Casey Sr.|
|Succeeded by||Mark Schweiker|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Pennsylvania's 21st district
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1995
|Preceded by||Donald Bailey|
|Succeeded by||Phil English|
Thomas Joseph Ridge
August 26, 1945
Munhall, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Dickinson School of Law (JD)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Unit||Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division|
|Awards||Bronze Star (with valor)|
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Ridge was born in Munhall, Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh's Steel Valley, the eldest of three children. His parents were Laura (née Sudimack) and Thomas Regis Ridge, who was a traveling salesman and Navy veteran. Ridge's maternal grandparents were Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), and his paternal great-grandparents emigrated from Great Britain. Ridge was raised in veterans' public housing in Erie, Pennsylvania. He was educated at St. Andrews Elementary School and Cathedral Preparatory School and did well both academically and in sports. He earned a scholarship to Harvard College, where he paid his way through with construction work, played intramural baseball and football, and graduated with honors in 1967. In 1968, after his first year at the Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the United States Army.
In November 1969, Ridge arrived as a sergeant in South Vietnam where he would serve for six months as a staff sergeant with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal Division) during the Vietnam War.
In May 1970, a ruptured appendix cut short his tour of duty in Vietnam and he was sent home; his service also aggravated a childhood ear infection which caused him afterwards to have a hearing aid in his left ear.
For his service in Vietnam, Ridge received the Bronze Star with "V" Device, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He was later offered a commission as an officer but turned it down.
Ridge became assistant district attorney in Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1980 and prosecuted 86 cases in two years. In 1982 he won a seat in Congress from northwestern Pennsylvania by the margin of only 729 votes, and was re-elected six times. Ridge was notable as the first enlisted Vietnam combat veteran elected to the U.S. House. Ridge never lost an election for public office.
In 1994, despite being little-known outside of northwest Pennsylvania, Ridge ran for Governor. He won the election as a pro-choice Republican. He was reelected in 1998 with 57 percent of the vote in a four-way race. His share of the vote in that election was the highest for a Republican governor in Pennsylvania (where Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost 500,000) in more than half a century. Ridge served as governor until his resignation to become the Director of Homeland Security in 2001.
One of Ridge's more controversial actions as governor was his nomination of Peter J. Jannetta to be the State Secretary of Health. Jannetta had previously been accused of committing perjury, with the State's Superior Court stating, "We have little difficulty in concluding that Dr. Jannetta's testimony at deposition was different than, or inconsistent with, the testimony at trial". Jannetta was not, however, ever convicted of perjury. Jannetta served as Health Secretary for six months.
During his time as governor, Ridge promoted "law and order" policies, supporting a three-strikes law and a faster death penalty process. A death penalty supporter, Ridge signed more than 224 execution warrants – five times the number signed over a 25-year period by the two previous governors – but only three voluntary executions were carried out. On social issues, he opposed gay marriage but is pro-choice on abortion issues.
Over Ridge's tenure, the Commonwealth's budget grew by two to three percent per fiscal year and combined tax reductions totaled over $2 billion. Ridge created and grew a "Rainy Day" Fund balance to over $1 billion to be utilized during an economic downturn or recession.
Ridge pushed for legislation permitting competition among electric utilities and enhanced federal and state support for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). He separated the Commonwealth's environmental regulatory and conservation programs into two new agencies; the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Ridge proposed the creation of public charter schools in Pennsylvania and in establishing alternate schools for disruptive students. He launched new academic standards that established academic expectations for what students were expected to know in different grades. He proposed a school choice demonstration program.
Ridge oversaw a number of e-government projects including renewing drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations to viewing historical documents and library catalogs. The Commonwealth's portal won several national awards. One of the nation's first electronic grant systems was put into place at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He created the Link-to-Learn initiative to increase the effective use of technology in public schools and universities.
Ridge was a potential running mate for Bob Dole in 1996, and served as a close advisor to GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush, a close friend from their simultaneous tenures as governors, during the 2000 presidential campaign. In return, Bush named Ridge to his short list for possible running mates, along with New York Governor George Pataki, Michigan Governor John Engler, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, former Missouri Senator John Danforth, and former American Red Cross President Elizabeth Dole.
Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush created the Office of Homeland Security within the White House, and named Ridge to head it. The charge to the nation's new director of homeland security was to develop and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to strengthen the United States against terrorist threats or attacks. Ridge formally resigned as Pennsylvania's governor on October 5, 2001.
In January 2003 and after the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Office of Homeland Security split into a Cabinet-level Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Advisory Council. Ridge left the White House and became the first Secretary of Homeland Security. The department's mission "is to (A) prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; (B) reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; and (C) minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States" (From H.R. 5005-8 the Homeland Security Act of 2002). The newly created Department was the most comprehensive reorganization of the Federal government since the National Security Act of 1947.
The Department of Homeland Security consolidates 22 agencies and 180,000 employees, unifying once-fragmented Federal functions in a single agency dedicated to protecting America from terrorism. Ridge worked with the employees from combined agencies to strengthen borders, provide for intelligence analysis and infrastructure protection, improve the use of science and technology to counter weapons of mass destruction, and to create a comprehensive response and recovery division.
On November 30, 2004, Ridge submitted his resignation to the President, saying, "After more than 22 consecutive years of public service, it is time to give personal and family matters a higher priority."
In his book The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again, Ridge says his resignation was due to an effort by senior Bush administration officials to raise the nation's terror alert level in the days before the 2004 presidential vote.
Ridge is the founder and CEO of Ridge Global, an advisory firm in Washington, D.C.
Ridge is a co-founder, along with investment banker R. Brad Lane, of RIDGE-LANE Limited and RIDGE-LANE Capital, a merchant-bank that sponsors urban development projects, public–private partnerships (P3) and economic development programs, as well as corporate development services for private technology companies.
In 2010, Ridge's two former Chiefs of Staff, Mark Campbell and Mark Holman, opened a lobbying firm after Ridge lent the firm his name. The full-service government affairs firm has offices in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
In July 2010, companies seeking to use hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation engaged Ridge and Ridge Policy Group at $75,000 a month to help them gain support.
In February 2005, Tom Ridge was named to the board of Home Depot. Ridge's compensation was expected to be about $100,000 per annum for this position. Since April 2005, Ridge served on the board of Savi Technology, the primary technology provider for the wireless cargo-monitoring network for the United States Department of Defense.
In April, 2005, Ridge's appointment to the board of the Illinois/Pennsylvania/New Jersey electric utility was announced, with starting director compensation of $35,000 annual retainer plus a $1,500 meeting fee or per diem fee. Directors were also granted $60,000 in deferred stock units each year at that time.
In 2010, it was reported that Ridge had appeared on MSNBC Hardball With Chris Matthews promoting nuclear energy as part of a "green agenda [to] ... create jobs, create exports," without any revelation by him or the cable channel of his Exelon position. In the report, his cumulative Exelon-derived compensation was put at $530,659; and it was said that, as of March 2009, he held an estimated $248,299 in Exelon stock, according to SEC filings. Exelon was described as "the nation's largest nuclear power company."
In November 2007, Ridge was named to serve on The Hershey Company's Executive Board. The Hershey Trust, the primary shareholder of Hershey, asked for a change in board composition after several years of poor stock performance. The board named Ridge to the board for his knowledge of economics.
Announced in January 2008, Tom Ridge will serve as a senior advisor to TechRadium, Inc., a Texas-based security technology company that provides its patented alert and notification system, IRIS (Immediate Response Information System), to a wide range of users including municipalities, public schools and universities, utilities, and military programs.
According to Fox News, many Republicans hoped Ridge would run for the United States Senate against the newly turned Democrat Arlen Specter, who stated he would seek re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary. Already seeking the Republican nomination was former Representative Pat Toomey, who narrowly lost to Specter in the Republican primary in 2004. Some Republicans thought Ridge would have a better chance against Specter than would Toomey. A Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll conducted between April 30, 2009 and May 3, 2009 placed Ridge within three points of Specter in a hypothetical matchup between the two men.
Some Toomey supporters criticized the idea of a Ridge candidacy because, although Ridge was still registered to vote in Pennsylvania, he was actually living in Chevy Chase, Maryland. On May 7, 2009, Ridge announced that he would not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Ridge spoke at a conference in support of the removal of the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK, also PMOI, MKO) from the United States State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The group was listed on the State Department list from 1997 until September 2012. They were placed on the list for killing six Americans in Iran during the 1970s and attempting to attack the Iranian mission to the United Nations in 1992. Ridge, along with other former government officials and politicians Ed Rendell, R. James Woolsey, Porter Goss, Louis Freeh, Michael Mukasey, James L. Jones, Rudy Giuliani, and Howard Dean, were criticized for their involvement with the group. Some were subpoenaed during an inquiry about who was paying the prominent individuals' speaking fees. Ridge and others wrote an article for the conservative publication National Review stating their position that the group should not be classified as a terrorist organization, raising the point that, at the time, only the United States and Iran still listed it as a terrorist group.
In 2015, Ridge served as co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, a commission that recommended changes to U.S. policy regarding biodefense. In order to address biological threats facing the nation, the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense created a 33-step initiative for the U.S. Government to implement. Tom Ridge headed the organization with former Senator Joe Lieberman, and the Study Panel assembled in Washington D.C. for four meetings concerning current biodefense programs. The Study Panel concluded that the federal government had little to no defense mechanisms in case of a biological event. The Study Panel's final report, The National Blueprint for Biodefense, proposes a string of solutions and recommendations for the U.S. Government to take, including items such as giving the vice president authority over biodefense responsibilities and merging the entire biodefense budget. These solutions represent the Panel's call to action in order to increase awareness and activity for pandemic related issues.
In 2016, Ridge endorsed Jeb Bush and subsequently John Kasich after Bush's withdrawal from the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. Ridge stated he would not endorse Donald Trump, following Trump becoming the presumptive nominee, or Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Tom Ridge's book The Test of Our Times was published in September 2009. Written with Larry Bloom, it concerns Ridge's time as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. He explains the challenges and decision making processes of the newly formed department, and gives his own views as to the future of the security of the United States of America. The book further discusses
the infighting he saw that frustrated his attempts to build a smooth-running department. Among the headlines promoted by publisher Thomas Dunne Books: Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was 'blindsided' by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; and was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over.
Ridge wrote in his memoir that then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft pressured him to raise the terror alert level, running up to the 2004 elections, because of a pre-election message critical of President Bush from Osama Bin Laden.
Ridge was hospitalized in critical condition in Texas after a cardiac event November 16, 2017.
|Republican||Tom Ridge (incumbent)||1,736,844||57.42|
|Libertarian||Ken V. Krawchuk||33,591||1.10|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 21st congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
| Chair of the Republican Governors Association
John G. Rowland
| Governor of Pennsylvania
|New office|| United States Homeland Security Advisor
| United States Secretary of Homeland Security
The Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1994 was held on November 8, 1994. The incumbent governor, Bob Casey, Sr. (Democrat), was barred from seeking a third term by the state constitution. The Republican Party nominated Congressman Tom Ridge, while the Democrats nominated Mark Singel, Casey's lieutenant governor. Ridge went on to win the race with 45% of the vote. Singel finished with 39%, and Constitution Party candidate Peg Luksik finished third, garnering 12% of the vote.1998 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election
The Pennsylvania Gubernatorial election of 1998 was held on November 3, 1998. It was between incumbent Republican Tom Ridge, Democrat Ivan Itkin, Constitutionalist Peg Luksik and Libertarian Ken Krawchuk. Ridge, a popular moderate, won with 57% of the votes cast.2004 Pennsylvania Attorney General election
Pennsylvania's Attorney General election was held November 2, 2004. Necessary primary elections were held on April 27, 2004. Tom Corbett was elected Attorney General, a position that he had held from 1995-97 after being appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to fill a vacancy. Corbett, who had been a U.S. Attorney, narrowly defeated Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor in the Republican primary, then won by an even tighter margin in the general election. Corbett's Democratic opponent was Jim Eisenhower, the 2002 nominee who had once served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and had been a close confidant of Governor Ed Rendell. Eisenhower won in a primary that featured three top-tier candidates: his opponents were David Barasch, a former U.S. Attorney, and John Morganelli, the Northampton County District Attorney who was narrowly defeated by Eisenhower in the previous Democratic primary for this position.Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (IATA: LBE, ICAO: KLBE, FAA LID: LBE) is in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, two miles (3 km) southwest of Latrobe and about 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. It was formerly "Westmoreland County Airport"; it was renamed in September 1999 for Arnold Palmer as part of his 70th birthday celebration. Palmer learned to fly at the airport and the dedication ceremony included Governor Tom Ridge and a flyover of three A-10s of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 18,946 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 15,482 in 2009 and 6,978 in 2010. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a non-hub primary commercial service facility.The airport was served by Northwest Airlink, as a reliever for Pittsburgh International Airport on the other side of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The airport had regional service by US Airways to Pittsburgh International Airport, until the company's bankruptcy. Northwest/Delta ended its service to Detroit on July 31, 2009.
In February 2011 Spirit Airlines launched seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach; in January 2012 Spirit announced they would start service to Orlando on May 17. The airline currently serves the airport year-round. Spirit now serves 5 cities from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport and has increased passenger traffic from 6,978 in 2010 to 355,910 in 2015.
Southern Airways Express released a statement showing interest in operating a Pittsburgh to Latrobe flight; no start date given.D. Michael Fisher
Dennis Michael Fisher (born November 7, 1944), known commonly as Mike Fisher, is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also serves as the Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.Erie International Airport
Erie International Airport Tom Ridge Field (IATA: ERI, ICAO: KERI, FAA LID: ERI) is a public airport five miles (8 km) southwest of Erie, in Erie County. Airline service at Erie faces stiff competition from the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto airports, all within three hours of Erie by car. In 2004 Erie was the third-fastest-growing airport in the United States, and the fastest-growing airport in Pennsylvania. It is 128 miles (206 km) from Pittsburgh, 111 miles (179 km) from the Canada–US border, 95 miles (153 km) from Cleveland, Ohio and 105 miles (169 km) from Buffalo, New York.Ernie Preate
Ernest D. Preate, Jr. (born November 22, 1940) is a former Republican Pennsylvania Attorney General. As Attorney General, he argued before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case, Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania v. Casey on behalf of Robert P. Casey, then governor of Pennsylvania. Preate also successfully argued another landmark case, Blystone v. Pennsylvania in the United States Supreme Court addressing the death penalty.Prior to serving as Attorney General, Preate was district attorney of Lackawanna County. He ran for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1994, but came in second for the Republican nomination behind then-congressman Tom Ridge, who won the general election.
In 1995, Preate went to jail after pleading guilty to mail fraud charges.Homeland Security Advisor
The Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, commonly referred to as the Homeland Security Advisor and formerly holding the title of Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, is a senior aide in the Executive Office of the President, based in the West Wing of the White House, who serves as the chief in-house advisor to the President of the United States on homeland security and counterterrorism issues. The Homeland Security Advisor is a statutory member of the Homeland Security Council. Serving at the pleasure of the President, the Homeland Security Advisor does not require Senate confirmation for appointment to the office.List of Governors of Pennsylvania
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the head of the executive branch of Pennsylvania's state government and serves as the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to approve or veto bills passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature and to convene the legislature. The governor may grant pardons except in cases of impeachment, but only when recommended by the Board of Pardons.There have been seven presidents and 46 governors of Pennsylvania, with two governors serving non-consecutive terms, totaling 55 terms in both offices. The longest term was that of the first governor, Thomas Mifflin, who served three full terms as governor in addition to two years as president. The shortest term belonged to John Bell, who served only 19 days as acting governor after his predecessor, Edward Martin resigned. The current governor is Democrat Tom Wolf, whose term began on January 20, 2015.Little Tom Mountain
Little Tom Mountain is a 73-acre (300,000 m2) nature preserve in Holyoke, Massachusetts and is managed by the Trustees of Reservations. The land was purchased in 2002 by a joint effort of the Trustees of Reservations, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club from the holders of the former Mt. Tom Ski area. It is not yet open to the public due to a nearby quarry operation, but expects to be open by 2012.Mark Schweiker
Mark Stephen Schweiker (born January 31, 1953) is an American businessman and politician who served as the 44th Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from October 5, 2001 to January 21, 2003. Schweiker, a Republican, became Governor of Pennsylvania in 2001, when his predecessor, Tom Ridge, resigned to become Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Schweiker serves as the SVP and Chief Relationship Officer of Renmatix.Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff (born November 28, 1953) is an American attorney who was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving under President George W. Bush. He was the co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act. He previously served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, and as Assistant U.S. Attorney General. He succeeded Tom Ridge as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security on February 15, 2005.
Since leaving government service, Chertoff has worked as senior of counsel at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling. He also co-founded the Chertoff Group, a risk-management and security consulting company, which employs several former senior political appointees. Chertoff was also elected as Chairman of BAE Systems for a three-year term, beginning May 1, 2012.
Chertoff co-chairs the Bipartisan Policy Center's Immigration Task Force.Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts
Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit performing arts center situated at Bushkill in the Pocono Mountains area of Pennsylvania, USA.
The principal venue is the Tom Ridge Pavilion, an Amphitheatre with a covered seating capacity of 2,509. In addition, the lawn has an uncovered seating capacity of 7,500 for a total of up to 10,009 seats.Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), established on July 1, 1995, is the agency in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania responsible for maintaining and preserving the state's 121 state parks and 20 state forests; providing information on the state's natural resources; and working with communities to benefit local recreation and natural areas. The agency has its headquarters in the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg.The department was formed when then-governor Tom Ridge split the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) into the DCNR and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).Phil English
Philip Sheridan English (born June 20, 1956) served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995–2009 from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, representing the state's 3rd Congressional district.
After 14 years in the U.S. House, he was defeated for reelection by Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper on November 4, 2008.Presque Isle State Park
Presque Isle State Park () is a 3,112-acre (1,259 ha) Pennsylvania State Park on an arching, sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, 4 miles (6 km) west of the city of Erie, in Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The peninsula sweeps northeastward, surrounding Presque Isle Bay along the park's southern coast. It has 13 miles (21 km) of roads, 21 miles (34 km) of recreational trails, 13 beaches for swimming, and a marina. Popular activities at the park include swimming, boating, hiking, biking, and birdwatching.
The recorded history of Presque Isle begins with the Erielhonan, a Native American tribe who gave their name to Lake Erie, and includes French, British, and American forts, as well as serving as a base for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet in the War of 1812. With the growing importance of shipping on Lake Erie in the 19th century, Presque Isle became home to several lighthouses and what later became a United States Coast Guard station. In 1921, it became a state park, and as of 2007 it hosts over 4 million visitors per year, the most of any Pennsylvania state park.The Presque Isle peninsula formed on a moraine from the end of the Wisconsin glaciation and is constantly being reshaped by waves and wind. This leads to seven ecological zones within the park, which provide a classic example of ecological succession. A National Natural Landmark since 1967, the park has been named one of the best places in the United States for watching birds, particularly in the Gull Point Natural Area. The Tom Ridge Environmental Center at the entrance to the park allows visitors to learn more about the park and its ecology. Presque Isle State Park has been chosen by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Parks for its list of "25 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks".Tom Ridge Environmental Center
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is a center on the grounds of Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania. Named after former Pennsylvania Governor and former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, the center opened on 26 May 2006. The center has 65,000 square feet (6,039 m2) of space including interpretive exhibits highlighting local and regional flora and fauna, as well as information on the human history and culture of the area. The center also has a large-format movie theater, a gift shop, a cafe, a visitors center, and an observation tower of 75 feet (23 m) that overlooks Lake Erie. The facility also has five conference rooms and eight laboratories for environmental education and research of supporting organizations, plus the administrative offices of several environmental and conservation groups and agencies.
The center was designed by Wallace, Roberts & Todd Architects, and received the 2007 American Society of Landscape Architects President's Award for design-build projects in Delaware and Pennsylvania.Tom Ridge Stakes
The Tom Ridge Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania. First run in 2007, it was originally known as the Tom Ridge Labor Day Stakes when it was run the first two years on Labor Day. The race is a six-furlong event for three-year-old horses and is raced on Tapeta synthetic dirt.
It currently offers a purse of $100,000.
The race is named for Tom Ridge, who was the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001.United States Secretary of Homeland Security
The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the U.S. and the safety of U.S. citizens. The secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The position was created by the Homeland Security Act following the attacks of September 11, 2001. The new department consisted primarily of components transferred from other cabinet departments because of their role in homeland security, such as the Coast Guard, the Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (which includes the Border Patrol), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which includes Homeland Security Investigations), the Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It did not include either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Central Intelligence Agency.Kevin McAleenan is the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, upon the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen.
d Currently styled as Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
|98th||Senate: H. Heinz III • A. Specter||House: J. McDade • J. Gaydos • L. Coughlin • G. Yatron • Bu. Shuster • J. Murtha • B. Edgar • B. Goodling • R. Schulze • A. Murphy • D. Walgren • B. Walker • B. Clinger Jr. • B. Gray III • D. Ritter • P. Kostmayer • B. Coyne • T. Foglietta • B. Borski Jr. • G. Gekas • F. Harrison • J. Kolter • T. Ridge|
|99th||Senate: H. Heinz III • A. Specter||House: J. McDade • J. Gaydos • L. Coughlin • G. Yatron • Bu. Shuster • J. Murtha • B. Edgar • B. Goodling • R. Schulze • A. Murphy • D. Walgren • B. Walker • B. Clinger Jr. • B. Gray III • D. Ritter • P. Kostmayer • B. Coyne • T. Foglietta • B. Borski Jr. • G. Gekas • J. Kolter • T. Ridge • P. Kanjorski|
|100th||Senate: H. Heinz III • A. Specter||House: J. McDade • J. Gaydos • L. Coughlin • G. Yatron • Bu. Shuster • J. Murtha • B. Goodling • R. Schulze • A. Murphy • D. Walgren • B. Walker • B. Clinger Jr. • B. Gray III • D. Ritter • P. Kostmayer • B. Coyne • T. Foglietta • B. Borski Jr. • G. Gekas • J. Kolter • T. Ridge • P. Kanjorski • C. Weldon|
|101st||Senate: H. Heinz III • A. Specter||House: J. McDade • J. Gaydos • L. Coughlin • G. Yatron • Bu. Shuster • J. Murtha • B. Goodling • R. Schulze • A. Murphy • D. Walgren • B. Walker • B. Clinger Jr. • B. Gray III • D. Ritter • P. Kostmayer • B. Coyne • T. Foglietta • B. Borski Jr. • G. Gekas • J. Kolter • T. Ridge • P. Kanjorski • C. Weldon|
|102nd||Senate: H. Heinz III (until Apr. 1991) • A. Specter • H. Wofford (from May 1991)||House: J. McDade • J. Gaydos • L. Coughlin • G. Yatron • Bu. Shuster • J. Murtha • B. Goodling • R. Schulze • A. Murphy • B. Walker • B. Clinger Jr. • B. Gray III (until Sep. 1991) • D. Ritter • P. Kostmayer • B. Coyne • T. Foglietta • B. Borski Jr. • G. Gekas • J. Kolter • T. Ridge • P. Kanjorski • C. Weldon • R. Santorum • L. Blackwell (from Nov. 1991)|
|103rd||Senate: A. Specter • H. Wofford||House: J. McDade • Bu. Shuster • J. Murtha • B. Goodling • A. Murphy • B. Walker • B. Clinger Jr. • B. Coyne • T. Foglietta • B. Borski Jr. • G. Gekas • T. Ridge • P. Kanjorski • C. Weldon • R. Santorum • L. Blackwell • J. Greenwood • T. Holden • R. Klink • M. Margolies • P. McHale|