On This Day National Park Service

April 4, 2022
"The parks are the Nation's pleasure grounds and the Nation's restoring places … The national parks … are an American idea …"

On this day in 1916, civic leader J. Horace McFarland, along with conservationists and govt. officials, began a two-day hearing in Congress to advocate for a unified national park service in the U.S. At the time, the U.S. already had several national parks, but they were managed under different agencies. Leaders appealed for the parks to be better managed to provide Americans (& tourists) with easily accessible public spaces in nature’s beauty. Four months later, Pres. Wilson signed the NPS Organic Act, establishing the National Park Service under the Dept. of the Interior. Today, national parks cover 85M+ acres across the U.S., and NPS sites see millions of visitors every year!

Today in History – April 5 (Library of Congress)

Statement of Mr. J. Horace McFarland, President of the American Civic Assocation. April 5 and 6, 1916 (American Memory, Library of Congress)

Click HERE to read more statements from the hearing before Congress, April 5 – 6, 1916

A need for a National Park Service, April 5, 1916 (POLITICO)

National Park Service Organic Act (1916)

by Jenna Lee,