From 1849 when President James Polk signed an act of Congress creating the Department of the Interior, to the current secretary, Gale Norton, this book offers a painless and easy-to-understand introduction to the position of the United States Secretary of the Interior. The book begins with a brief discussion of the U.S. Constitution and the three branches of government, and goes on to include such varied topics as requirements for becoming secretary of the interior, the many places the secretary works, and the varied responsibilities the secretary faces. Two times of crisis for United States secretaries of the interior are examined-the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and the institution of the Public Works Administration during the Great Depression-along with discussions about how the secretaries of the interior handled these crises. Included is a list of interesting facts about different secretaries of the interior, a schedule of a typical day for a modern secretary, a glossary and an index. As part of the "America's Leaders" series by Blackbirch Press, this book offers students of all ages a well-written, interesting jumping off point for understanding the workings of the United States government. 2002, Blackbirch Press/The Gale Group Inc, Ages 8 to 12.