THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Library of Congress THE LOC.GOV WISE GUIDE
AD HIGHLIGHTS
ARCHIVES
ABOUT THIS SITE
HELP
December2006
HOME Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus How High Can A Nine-Banded Armadillo Jump? Come On And Hear Alexander’s Ragtime Band Carry Nation . . . First Mother Against Drunk Driving You’re Supposed To Steep Tea In Boiling Water Take 5 In The Nation’s ‘Pleasure Grounds’
In The Nation's 'Pleasure Grounds'

"The parks are the nation's pleasure grounds and the nation's restoring places," said J. Horace McFarland, president of the American Civic Association, in 1916. Obviously, the millions of people who visit the national parks annually agree. Last year, there were more than 413 million visits to the nearly 400 areas administered by the National Park Service.

[Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir on Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, California], ca. 1906 George N. Colby, [Detail of] Map of Mount Desert Island, Maine, 1887

Conservationists, civic leaders and government officials submitted testimony before Congress in favor of the establishment of the National Park Service on April 5 and 6, 1916. The congressional debate over the proper management of the growing system of national parks began in 1912 and culminated with the passage in 1916 of the National Park Service Act, which created the National Park Service within the Department of the Interior.

More information on the establishment of the National Park Service can be found in the April 5 entry of Today in History, a Web site that is worth visiting every day of the year. Today in History offers a wealth of fascinating information from the historical collections of the Library of Congress.

Another great place to discover the history of the national parks is in the American Memory presentation "The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920." And don't forget to visit "Mapping the National Parks," which documents the history, culture and geological formations of areas that eventually became national parks. The approximately 200 maps date from the 17th century to the present, and there are special presentations on four parks, Acadia, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone.


A. [Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir on Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, California], ca. 1906. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction Nos.: LC-USZ62-8672 DLC (b&w film copy neg. of half stereo), LC-USZC4-4698 DLC (color film copy transparency), LC-USZ62-107389 DLC (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: Item in PRES FILE - Roosevelt, Theodore--Misc. Political and Social Activities

B. George N. Colby, [Detail of] Map of Mount Desert Island, Maine, 1887. Geography and Map Division. Reproduction information: Call No.: G3732.M6G46 1887 .C6 TIL