national park history

Biscayne National Park Seeks Recollections of Homestead's "Blacks Only" Beach

The National Park Service wants to interview people with firsthand knowledge of a racially segregated beach that once occupied the site of Biscayne National Park's main visitor center.

National Park History: The Grand Register of Yo-Semite Valley

Now a prized possession of the Yosemite Museum, the guest register of the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon is a treasure trove of information about early Yosemite tourism.

New Richard Adler Fund Will Encourage Students to Create Art, Music and Poetry Inspired by National Parks

To honor renowned composer/writer Richard Adler for his contributions to the national parks, the National Park Trust has established the Richard Adler Fund for the promotion of art, music and poetry inspired by the national parks.

National Park History: Yosemite's Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon (1871-1884)

Even before Yosemite became a national park, tourists who endured the wearying journey to Yosemite Valley and suffered the valley's many discomforts were refreshed by some very special amenities at the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon.

By the Numbers: Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

The battle popularly known as "Custer's Last Stand," and now also recognized as the last stand of the Plains Indians, was fought in southeastern Montana on June 25-26, 1876. Here are some highlight statistics for Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and the battle it commemorates.

Voices From a Drowned Treasure: The Music Temple Register

In the early 1960s, the rising waters of Lake Powell permanently submerged Music Temple, one of Glen Canyon's most spectacular side canyons. Fortunately, the remarkable site's visitor register was moved to safety.

The National Park System's Cultural-Historical Wing: America's Story in 10 Chapters

The more than 200 national parks established to preserve nationally significant cultural-historical resources "tell America's story" by interpreting about ten broad themes that increase our awareness and understanding of what American culture is and how it got that way.

Traveler Classic: Rare Motion Pictures Show Civil War Veterans at Gettysburg

With the Civil War 150th anniversary commemoration gathering steam, this is a good time to reach into the Traveler archives for one of our all-time popular posts: links to videos showing movies of Civil War veterans at the Gettysburg 75th anniversary reunion in 1938. Get ready for goosebumps.

The Navy Converted Yosemite's Luxurious Ahwahnee Hotel to Hospital Use During World War II

The Ahwahnee's 1943-1945 stint as the United States Naval Special Hospital was certainly one of the most interesting episodes in its long and storied history.

What Every Visitor to Glacier National Park Needed to Know … in 1920

Glacier National Park's centennial year is winding down, so the Traveler thought it might be both fun and enlightening to take a peek at a pair of park brochures from the early years of the park. It's pretty clear from these excerpts that life in the park was just a bit different in 1912 and 1920 than it is today.

Apollo Astronauts Visited Craters of the Moon

You know that Apollo astronauts visited craters on the moon, but did you know that some of them also visited Craters of the Moon right here on earth?

Remains of Sunken Ferryboat “Ellis Island” are Removed from Island Slip

Once used to shuttle recently-admitted immigrants from Ellis Island to Manhattan, the ferryboat “Ellis Island” was retired in 1954 and sank at its berth in 1968. Now a difficult salvage operation has retrieved the historic ship‘s rusted remains.

A New Exhibit at Ellis Island Tells the Story of the Lenape, the People Who Were There First

A new exhibit at the Ellis Island Museum sheds light on a seldom-noted fact; when Henry Hudson discovered New York Harbor, the Lenape were already there.

In Honor of Labor Day: "Other Duties as Assigned" at Winsor Castle

Winsor Castle at Pipe Spring.
Have you ever stopped to consider the wide variety of duties performed by employees at a national park? In honor of Labor Day, here's a peek back to a bygone era at some of the duties for the first NPS employee assigned to take care of Winsor Castle.

National Park, New Jersey, Reached for the Gold Ring

National Park, New Jersey is not a national park, nor is it even associated with one. This little town on the Delaware River near Philadelphia got its interesting name because its founding fathers dreamed of bigger things.

At the Lincoln Memorial, Marian Anderson Delivered an Easter Sunday Performance for the Ages

Martin Luther King, Jr., was not the only renowned African American to use the Lincoln Memorial to make a statement about racial injustice in the land of the free. On Easter Sunday 70 years ago, Marian Anderson thrilled a huge crowd with one of the most memorable concerts ever delivered on Federal property. Thank goodness a Newsreel camera crew was on hand.

Aging Activists Gather at Congaree National Park to Recall a Nick-of-Time Rescue

The spectacular old-growth forest of the Congaree floodplain would have been lost forever had it not been for a grassroots campaign that achieved a highly implausible victory back in the 1970s. Veterans of the campaign gathered at Congaree National Park this past weekend to share memories of that long-ago struggle.

Sullivan’s Island Was the African-American Ellis Island

Charleston, South Carolina, was North America’s main port of entry for African slaves, and hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were quarantined at Sullivan’s Island before being passed along to the slave markets and a life of toil. “African Passage,” an exhibit that will open on March 22 at Fort Moultrie National Monument, will tell this painful story.

Paving the Way to Denali National Park & Preserve

Completion of the Parks Highway in 1971 quite literally paved the way to Mount McKinley National Park, tripling its visitation within two years. The park now named Denali celebrates its 92nd birthday today, and the Parks Highway remains its only automobile-friendly link to the world.

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve is One of the National Park System’s Best Kept Secrets

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve scarcely appears on the national radar screen, and that's a shame. This million-visit park is a real gem.

Believe it or Not, Yosemite National Park Once had a Zoo

Tourists visiting Yosemite National Park in the 1920s could view mountain lions, a bear, and deer kept in cages and enclosures. Despite drawing heated criticism, this wacky zoo persisted for more than a decade before finally being abolished in 1932.

Is San Juan National Historic Site Haunted?

San Juan National Historic Site celebrates its 60th birthday today, February 14. This remarkable park, America's only national park in Puerto Rico, preserves some of the finest Spanish Colonial-era coastal forts left in the Caribbean. Many people believe that one of these forts is haunted.

Rare Motion Pictures Show Civil War Veterans at the 75th Gettysburg Battle Anniversary Reunion

Gettysburg National Military Park celebrates a birthday today, its 114th, but it was the battle anniversaries that interested the Civil War veterans. In 1938, the 75th anniversary of the battle, motion picture crews filmed the aged veterans at the battlefield as they gathered for their final reunion. There’s some amazing film footage on the Internet.

National Park Icons: Yellowstone’s Roosevelt Arch

The National Park System’s built environment sports two iconic arches. One is the Gateway Arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and the other is the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone. Some think that the Gateway is just eye candy, but everyone knows that the Roosevelt is history with a capital H.

Muir Woods National Monument is More than Really Old, Really Big Trees

Muir Woods National Monument, which celebrates its 101st anniversary today, is swarmed by visitors who admire the giant redwoods but pay little heed to the ecosystem’s lesser publicized features. A profusion of life surrounds those big trees, interacts with them, and participates with them in the intricate processes of energy flow and matter recycling that sustain the ecosystem.

At Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Old History Made Way for New History

Dozens of historic riverfront buildings in St. Louis were demolished in the 1940s to make room for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Boosters insisted that this was basically a matter of breaking a few eggs to make an omelet. Many preservationists think it was deplorable.

More and Bigger is Better for Minidoka National Historic Site

Minidoka National Historic Site, the former Minidoka Internment National Monument, has acquired vital new acreage and a satellite site that will tell the park’s story in a richer, more complete way. Preserving and interpreting a World War II concentration camp for people of Japanese ancestry helps teach important lessons about racial prejudice, injustice, and the loss of civil liberties.

An Indian Memorial Helps to Re-Image Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument offers a prime example of re-imaging in NPS context. Custer’s Last Stand occurred at this place, but so did the last stand of the Plains Indians. In 1991, a landmark redesignation acknowledged that the battlefield has a duel identity. More recently, an Indian Memorial has helped to re-image the place as hallowed ground for Indians as well as whites.

Lava Beds National Monument is a Geologically and Historically Fascinating Place

Lava Beds National Monument, which celebrates its 83rd birthday November 21, is a strange looking place bursting with fascinating stories. As if the largest collection of lava tubes and caves in the coterminous states weren’t enough to make this park very special, it’s also where Captain Jack and his warrior band fought an amazing battle against an attacking force ten times its size during the Modoc War of the early 1870s.

City of Rocks National Reserve is a Model of Interagency Cooperation

Established on November 18, 1988, Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve is more than just a geologic wonder, a touchstone of our pioneer past, and a magnet for climbers. It’s also a model for interagency cooperation.
Syndicate content