12 Reasons Why November 10 is a Big Day in National Park History
Everybody likes a birthday party, so mark your calendars! Several national parks celebrate their birthday this month.
November 10 might not ring a bell for most of us, but for more than a dozen parks across the country, that date in 1978 marked the beginning of a new chapter in the National Park System. Talk about a momentous day in national park history!
A big day in national park history
If you're wondering how so many parks came to be designated on the same day, you have President Jimmy Carter (among many other hard-working folks) to thank. The National Parks and Recreation Act finally made it to the President's desk on Nov. 10, 1978, after taking more than a year to pass through the House and the Senate.
The effects of the National Parks and Recreation Act were wide-reaching and included 15 new additions to the National Park System, along with additional land acquisitions, increased funding, and millions of acres of wilderness designations for many other parks.
Celebrating your national parks
There's no better way to mark this important day in national park history than to visit one of these incredible parks celebrating its birthday on November 10. No matter what part of the country you call home, chances are there's one nearby:
Hawaiian History Preserved
Discover an untamed volcanic landscape and the vibrant history of the native people who have called the area home for centuries when you visit Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. Learn about the traditional native culture of the area and be on the lookout for rare migratory birds that fly to the area each winter.
Find peace and quiet along the last major undammed river in the East—Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Activities in this tranquil park include canoeing, fishing, and eagle rafting.
An Unsung Revolutionary
Visit the Thomas Stone National Historic Site to learn more about Thomas Stone, a wealthy man who risked everything to join the American Revolution and sign the Declaration of Independence. While you’re there, be sure to take a walk around the old farm grounds to immerse yourself in the past.
A Poet’s Life Remembered
Enter the chilling mind of one of America's most enduring authors during a visit to his historic home in Philadelphia, now preserved as the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site. Take a ranger-led or self-guided tour and be sure to stop for a selfie with the raven statue located just outside the home Poe once lived in.
The Home of a History Maker
Discover the home of one of America's forgotten founding fathers, Albert Gallatin, who engineered the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, at the Friendship Hill National Historic Site. Gallatin helped plan the Lewis and Clark exploration during his tenure as secretary of the treasury under President Thomas Jefferson.
A River that Sustained a People
Feel the power of one of America's mightiest and most beautiful free-flowing waterways alongside the Missouri National Recreational River. The river holds a great deal of significance in America’s history – shaping great people and stories that include Lewis and Clark, Ponca Chief Standing Bear, and the treaty that was forged between the United States of America and the Sioux tribe.
A River Within the Canyons
Explore an untamed playground of whitewater rapids and meandering waterways surrounded by resilient limestone canyons. Float down the vast Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River to pass by three canyons within Big Bend National Park, where you may choose to veer off the water for a chance to hike and camp.
A Mix of Cultures
Step back in time at this unique historical place where Spanish, American, and Native American cultures met – and often clashed – nearly 300 years ago. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park holds four mission sites as well as an active Catholic parish that holds regular services.
Fighting for Equality
Explore the inspirational life of one of our great civil rights leaders, Maggie Lena Walker when you visit the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Virginia. Walker devoted her life to civil rights advancement and opportunities during the Jim Crow-era. This site is a tribute to her enduring legacy.
The Puget Sound, Undisturbed
Experience rich history and the stunning natural landscape along the shores of Puget Sound at Washington state’s Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Learn about the park’s namesake, the Ebey family, who emigrated to the island in the 1850s, as well as the Skagit Indians who made permanent settlements in the area in the 1300s.
Activities Abound in West Virginia
Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of one of North America's oldest rivers, as well as the ancient mountains that surround it, at New River Gorge National River. Plenty of opportunities for fun await you there, including hiking, whitewater rafting, fishing, hunting and volunteer opportunities.
Revisiting the 19th Century
Connect with the past as you walk through the Texas lands that served as the scene for the first major battle of the U.S.-Mexican War. A visit to Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park teaches visitors about the war, its causes, and the many impacts on relations between Mexico and the United States.
November 10 offers an opportunity to celebrate the birthday of some of America's most underrated national parks. That said, you don't have to wait for a special occasion to #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque. Start exploring today!