… was authorized on this date in 1937.
The area now known as Cape Hatteras National Seashore has a long and rich heritage. The islands that make up the seashore have been home to Native Americans, farmers, watermen, slaves, lighthouse keepers, surfmen, and many others who continue to shape the heritage of the area. The people have witnessed events that include hurricanes, the death of Blackbeard the pirate, Civil War battles, the construction of its now famous lighthouses, the birth of the USCG in the lifesaving stations, hundreds of shipwrecks, Billy Mitchell’s test bombings, Reginald Fessenden’s first radio broadcasts, the building of dunes by the CCC, scientific strides in weather forecasting, u-boat attacks, and much more.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the nation’s first national seashore, was established to preserve significant segments of unspoiled barrier islands along North Carolina’s stretch of the Atlantic Coast. Barrier islands are narrow, low-lying, dynamic landforms which parallel ocean coasts, are separated from the mainland, and are constantly moving and reshaping in response to storms, ocean currents, sea level changes, and wave and wind action. These processes continue to influence the islands today through the processes of erosion and accretion of the shoreline; overwash across the islands; and the formation, migration, and closure of the inlets.
National Park Service
… was designated a national historical monument on this date in 1935. It became a national historical park in 1954.
Walk the old country lanes where Robert E. Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered his men to Ulysses Grant, General-in-Chief of all United States forces, on April 9, 1865. Imagine the events that signaled the end of the Southern States’ attempt to create a separate nation. The National Park encompasses approximately 1800 acres of rolling hills in rural central Virginia. The site includes the McLean home (surrender site) and the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, the former county seat for Appomattox County. The site also has the home and burial place of Joel Sweeney – the popularizer of the modern five string banjo. There are twenty seven original 19th century structures on the site.
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Photo shows two brothers, often at war, making peace with a hug outside the McLean home in Appomattox Court House. It’s not known whether Grant and Lee hugged.
… came under National Park Service administration on this date in 1965. It had been set aside in 1957.
May 10, 1869 the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory and forged the destiny of a nation. Golden Spike National Historic Site shares the stories of the people and settings that define the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad.
Golden Spike National Historic Site
Pictured, The Jupiter, one of the replica steam engines at Golden Spike NHS
NewMexiKen photo, 2005
The Santa Fe National Historic Trail was established on May 8th in 1987.
Between 1821 and 1880, the Santa Fe Trail was primarily a commercial highway connecting Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1821 until 1846, it was an international commercial highway used by Mexican and American traders. In 1846, the Mexican-American War began. The Army of the West followed the Santa Fe Trail to invade New Mexico. When the Treaty of Guadalupe ended the war in 1848, the Santa Fe Trail became a national road connecting the United States to the new southwest territories. Commercial freighting along the trail continued, including considerable military freight hauling to supply the southwestern forts. The trail was also used by stagecoach lines, thousands of gold seekers heading to the California and Colorado gold fields, adventurers, fur trappers, and emigrants. In 1880 the railroad reached Santa Fe and the trail faded into history.
National Park Service
… was established as Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park on April 25, 1947. It became a National Park in 1978.
When Theodore Roosevelt came to Dakota Territory to hunt bison in 1883, he was a skinny, young, spectacled dude from New York. He could not have imagined how his adventure in this remote and unfamiliar place would forever alter the course of the nation. The rugged landscape and strenuous life that TR experienced here would help shape a conservation policy that we still benefit from today.
A wide diversity of animals make their home in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. An abundance of native grasses provide sustenance for grazing animals both large and small while the tapestry of different habitats attracts a great number of birds. The terrain of the badlands creates microclimates of warm, dry slopes, relatively cool and wet juniper woodlands, and riverbottoms.
“I grow very fond of this place, and it certainly has a desolate, grim beauty of its own, that has a curious fascination for me.” Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the badlands of western North Dakota. The park is comprised of three areas: South Unit, North Unit and Elkhorn Ranch Unit.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
I have just one digitized photo from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s of a visitor to our campsite in 1998.
… was established on this date in 1937.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument celebrates the life and landscape of the Sonoran Desert. Here, in this desert wilderness of plants and animals and dramatic mountains and plains scenery, you can drive a lonely road, hike a backcountry trail, camp beneath a clear desert sky, or just soak in the warmth and beauty of the Southwest. The Monument exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants of the Sonoran Desert, including the organ pipe cactus, a large cactus rarely found in the United States. There are also many creatures that have been able to adapt themselves to extreme temperatures, intense sunlight and little rainfall.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. This is a showcase for creatures who have adapted themselves to the extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and little rainfall that characterize this Southwest region. Twenty-six species of cactus have mastered the art of living in this place, including the park’s namesake and the giant saguaro.
National Parks and National Monuments are both administered by the National Park Service, and are identical in their function and purpose. Both are types of federally protected lands, and share the common goal of preserving and protecting significant natural and cultural resources.
The major difference between a national park and a national monument is the manner in which they are created. A national park is established through an Act of Congress, and the land may originate from a variety of sources, including public and private land. A national monument is established by Presidential proclamation, and this land is to be taken only from existing public (federal) ownership.
Organ Pipe National Monument