The seed for the national park idea was planted in 1864 with the passage of the Yosemite Grant. In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill creating Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the history of the world. This trend continued with the signing of the Antiquities Act of 1906, by the great lover of nature, President Theodore Roosevelt, who sought to protect scientific items of cultural heritage. The Act further prohibited the removal of cultural items from Federal lands without a permit. At that time, permits were granted by the agency managing that particular monument, especially the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture. Hence, monuments were managed by various agencies.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service, but it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in 1933 consolidated the stewardship of all national monuments and parks under the NPS. In 1935, through the Historic Sites Act, the US publically declared its goal to protect and preserve cultural heritage sites. Since then, Presidential administrations have classified more and more sites as cultural heritage. Thus far, we have close to 400 cultural heritage sites. The Obama administration alone is responsible for adding 18 of them.
We invite you to browse the U.S. Government Bookstore’s National Parks collection. It includes everything from posters, maps, and park guides to coloring books for children. Of particular interest is the National Parks Index 2012 – 2016: 2016 National Park Service Centennial: Official Index of the National Park Service. This index is a complete administrative listing of the National Park System’s areas and related areas, including historical documentation to distinguish between the types of National Park Service sites. It has been revised to reflect congressional actions. The entries, grouped by state, include administrative addresses and phone numbers, dates of authorization and establishment, boundary change dates, acreages, website addresses, and brief statements explaining the areas’ national significance.
You can also experience a little of what the NPS has to offer in the Washington, D.C. area through the pamphlet, “National Park Service: Where History Happens,” on sale via the U.S. Government Bookstore. Learn more about the D.C. area’s most historic attractions: where Abraham Lincoln died or where Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I Have a Dream…” speech. Visit Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, seemingly completely frozen in time, as workers cultivate the farm using the same techniques and tools as in Washington’s era.
America’s heritage includes monuments, parks, recreational sites, parkways, and many other things. Layer upon layer, time upon time, when we look at these structures we are not just looking at our past, we are learning from it so we can build a better tomorrow. History is always being made; the unheard of yesterday is being made possible today.
Below is a list of handpicked resources for those interested in learning more. Find these resources via govinfo, the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.
- History of H.R. 3556 – A bill to prepare the National Park Service for its Centennial in 2016 and for a second century of protecting our national parks’ natural, historic, and cultural resources for present and future generations, and for other purposes
- 160 Cong. Rec. H3254 – NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE COIN ACT
- REPT. 106-250 – ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications – http://catalog.gpo.gov/
- The Secretary of the Interior’s standards for the treatment of historic properties : with guidelines for preserving, rehabilitating, restoring & reconstructing historic buildings
U.S. Government Online Bookstore – http://bookstore.gpo.gov
- Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (ePub eBook)
- Yellowstone: A Natural and Human History, Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
- Underground Railroad: Official Map and Guide (Folder)
HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?
You can click on the links above in the blog or through any of these methods:
Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.
Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.
About the author: Blogger contributor Mohammed Butt is a Technical Services Librarian in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management unit.