Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service!
19 August 2016
The National Park Service will cross the century mark on August 25. In honor of this milestone, here are a few things you may not know about the NPS:
- Although the National Park Service was officially established in 1916, national parks existed before then. With the Act of March 1, 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and placed it “under exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior.”
- President Woodrow Wilson was instrumental in the founding of the National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, he signed the Organic Act creating the Park Service, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments then managed by the department and those yet to be established.
- Today, more than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 400+ units of the National Park system, and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.
- There are six NPS sites in Missouri alone: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (St. Louis), Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site (St. Louis), Ozark National Scenic Riverways (Van Buren), Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield (Republic), George Washington Carver National Monument (Diamond), Harry S Truman National Historic Site (Independence).
- President Theodore Roosevelt has the most national parks named in his honor. (Lincoln is the runner-up.)
- Gerald R. Ford is the only American president to have served as a National Park Service ranger.
Be sure to attend the fun events the Arch and Old Courthouse have planned for the anniversary, including a community picnic on Thursday (complete with free cupcakes and live music!), and more special events on Saturday, August 27! Find out more about them here.