National Park Service History

Can You Identify These "Historic Firsts" In The National Park System?

The country's first National Historic Site celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this month, and the occasion offers the opportunity for some fun challenges for NPS trivia buffs. Can you identify the NPS area claiming this historic "first"? How about the location of America's first National Battlefield, or the former national park that's now a national monument?

A Short History of the Flat Hat's "Lemon Squeezer" Pinch

The Montana Peak, that symmetrical quadrant pinch in the crown of the ranger's iconic "flat hat," was born out of the need for a practical solution to an Army trooper's significant problem.

Was This the Most Ambitious Event Ever Held in an NPS Area?

Most of us face some challenging tasks from time to time at work, but you can be thankful you weren't put in charge of the Yorktown Sesquicentennial celebration. It gets my vote for the most ambitious special event ever held in a National Park System area.

When Stephen Mather Called, Bob Yard Came Running

He labored in the shadow of the National Park Service’s founding fathers, but Robert Sterling Yard was one of the best advocates the agency ever had.

Howdy Ranger! You Too, President Ford

We’re going to direct you to a website where you can watch a really neat slide show depicting rangering through the years. See if you can spot President Gerald Ford, then 23, the only President ever to serve as a national park ranger. Ford called it “one of the greatest summers of my life,” and his supervisor called him “a darn good ranger.”

Happy Birthday to the National Park Service Arrowhead Emblem

The National Park Service’s arrowhead emblem was authorized on July 20, 1951. Like the ranger’s familiar “Smokey the Bear” Stetson hat, the Arrowhead is now an American icon. The origin and evolution of the Arrowhead is an interesting story.
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