National Park Service

  • The Roots of the Politicization of the National Parks Service

    by Nick DeLuca

    The National Park Service has never been totally independent of politics. But a 1996 law requiring Senate approval of the NPS Director, combined with the Trump administration's use of acting directors, has created uncertainty. Approving Biden's nominee Chuck Sams is a key step to putting the National Parks on solid footing. 

  • George Washington's family tree: A biracial history lesson

    Two centuries later, the National Park Service and the nonprofit that runs Washington's Mount Vernon estate now have exhibits showing that the first family's family tree has been biracial from its earliest branches.

  • Remembering John Muir on the centennial of the National Park Service

    by Mark Stoll

    On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act. The bill culminated decades of effort by a remarkable generation of dedicated men and women who fought to protect the nation’s natural wonders for the democratic enjoyment of the people. The greatest of these passionate parks advocates was John Muir.

  • National Park Service livestreaming Gettysburg reenactment

    WHAT: This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg, a major turning point in the Civil War that ended General Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North and also served as inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's famous “Gettysburg Address”. EarthCam and the National Park Service have teamed up to transport viewers to another time with spectacular live views of the Gettysburg battle field.WHY: Watch Pickett's Charge March live as it happens on July 3 from 3:00 to 4:30pm ET from EarthCam's high-definition live streaming webcam positioned atop the Codori Barn. The Nicholas Codori farm is located just south of Gettysburg on the east side of Emmitsburg Road where it was the scene of heavy fighting on July 2 and proved to be an obstacle to advancing troops of Pickett's Charge on July 3. See participants walk in the footsteps of Confederate Soldiers who made the attack from Seminary Ridge or Union Soldiers who defended ground on Cemetery Ridge.HOW: Enjoy live views of the Gettysburg Battlefield and watch Pickett's Charge March Live from EarthCam's camera at www.earthcam.com/gettysburg, or go to www.gettysburgfoundation.org and click on the “Watch Pickett's Charge Live!” button.

  • Debbie Doyle: The National Parks and the Value of History

    Debbie Ann Doyle is Coordinator: Committees & Meetings at the American Historical Association.Heritage tourism is big business. A recent report on the economic impact of the National Park Service (NPS) estimates that 279 million visits to the parks in 2011 generated $30 billion in economic activity and supported 252,000 jobs, both in the park service and in communities surrounding the parks.While budget-minded legislators may see historic sites and preservation as luxuries that might be trimmed from an austerity budget, cultural resources offer a good return on investment. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis notes that the parks contribute $10 to the economy for every $1 in tax money invested in the National Park Service, which “makes good stewardship sense and good business sense.”

  • Republicans critical of Obama national monuments bill amid sequester cuts

    Congressional Republicans have condemned Barack Obama for designating five new national monuments at a time when sequester funding cuts are hitting existing national parks and landmarks.Doc Hastings, the Republican chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, issued a statement on Monday criticising the president for spending at a time when the sequester has forced the cancellation of White House tours.Obama signed proclamations on Monday establishing the five new monuments under the 1906 Antiquities Act."These sites honour the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country," Obama said. "By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come."...

  • Park service says budget cuts won’t derail 150th anniversary events at Gettysburg

    GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The National Park Service says federal budget cuts won’t derail the events planned for the Battle of Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary.Bob Kirby, the superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, says Friday that an extensive series of special programs will take place as planned this summer, though the budget cuts will have some impacts.Kirby says the non-profit Gettysburg Foundation is also providing some extra support this year....

  • Curious Case of Lincoln Birthplace

    Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin near present-day Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809; and the curious case of his well-traveled birthplace cabin is a historical labyrinth of veneration, profit seeking, confused identity, and cross-pollination with historic relics from the Confederate States of America. Could it be that those Lincoln Logs you played with as a child were really Jeff Davis logs?...

  • Historic DC tree accidently cut down by Park Service

    ...The National Park Service said the contractor — a Lothian company called Greentree — was supposed to cut down a dead ash tree on the other side of the park. There was nothing wrong with the ginkgo....It was memorialized in 2006 as part of the Park Service’s Witness Tree Protection Program, an effort to encourage the public to relate to the history of the city through its trees. Historian Jonathan Pliska wrote that the ginkgo was probably planted in 1873, although it may have been there earlier and been incorporated into the design of the square, which honors Adm. David Glasgow Farragut, the naval hero best known for saying: “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”The tree was 102 feet tall, with a crown spread of 79 feet and trunk circumference of 142 inches. That made it the largest ginkgo in Washington. Apparently it was a male, so it didn’t have that stinky fruit....

  • Cyclorama building at Gettysburg will be demolished

    A 14-year battle over the fate of a modern structure at the heart of Gettysburg National Military Park is over.The National Park Service said Thursday that it would begin demolishing the Cyclorama building as soon as February, clearing the site ahead of the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle.The site will be restored to its 1863 appearance, complete with a period apple orchard and replicas of the wood fences that once crisscrossed the fields, park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said. The massive painting that the building once housed has been separately preserved....