Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park
Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park is a United States national historical park located in Richmond, near San Francisco. The park preserves and interprets the legacy of the United States home front during World War II, including the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards, the Victory ship SS Red Oak Victory, a tank factory, housing developments and other facilities built to support America's entry into World War II. In particular, the role of women and African-Americans in war industries is explored and honored; the park is a "partnership park", meaning that no land or buildings are owned by the National Park Service, which only administers the park. This new National Park was established in 2000 and is still under development. Bus tours of the park began in 2007; the park has a visitor center in the restored Ford Building, with a number of permanent and temporary exhibits about the history of Richmond's wartime industries and workers. A film illustrates the home-front battle.
Rangers are available to answer questions, lead guided tours and conduct other interpretive programs. A self-guided auto tour with optional walking tour is available for downloading. In the summer of 2007, preliminary bus tours were begun with a new guideless model, which instead filled half of the bus with residents who spoke of their experiences from the time to put what are otherwise everyday streets for residents into a greater historical perspective; the Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Marina Bay Park is open year-round, dawn to dusk, as are the other Richmond city parks within the National Park's boundaries. The park's creation was spurred by the construction of a Rosie the Riveter memorial in a city shoreline park, to honor the "Rosies", women who made up much of the workforce at the shipyards; the four Richmond shipyards, with their combined 27 shipways, produced 747 ships, more than any other shipyard complex in the country. Richmond was home to 56 different war industries, more than any other city of its size in the United States.
The city grew nearly overnight from 24,000 people to 100,000 people, overwhelming the available housing stock, schools and community services. The effort behind the memorial was initiated by then-Councilwoman Donna Powers, it grew under Project Director Donna Graves to become the first national tribute to home front American women. The memorial is located at Marina Bay Park, the site of former Kaiser Richmond Shipyard #2, it is the length of a Liberty ship with a form of the ship being built. The simple metal pier represents the stern at the water's edge, a simple cylinder frame is the smoke stack, the bow is made of prefabricated parts similar to those assembled by the shipyard workers. A timeline of World War II is placed along the walkway running the length of the memorial. Interpretive panels within the structures present information on women's history, labor history, the home front; the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant was the largest assembly plant. One of only three tank depots in the entire country 49,000 jeeps were assembled and 91,000 other military vehicles were processed here.
Ford employed thousands of workers at the site during World War II, many of them women who were entering the work force for the first time. "Rosie the Riveter" was a period song representing these women. In mobilizing the wartime production effort to its full potential, Federal military authorities and private industry began to work together on a scale never seen before in American history; this laid the groundwork for what became known as the "military-industrial complex" during the Cold War years. Noted architect Albert Kahn is credited with the design of the Ford plant in Richmond. After World War II, Ford moved its Northern California factory to Milpitas, where it became known as the San Jose Assembly Plant; the plant building has been restored and now houses a variety of private businesses along with the NPS visitor center. The four Richmond Shipyards were part of the Kaiser Shipyards; the construction of 747 ships during the war here is a feat not equaled anywhere else in the world, before or since.
The park's Rosie memorial is located on the former grounds of Shipyard No. 2. Shipyard No. 3 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both Liberty and Victory ships were constructed here; these ships were completed in two-thirds the amount of time and at a quarter of the cost of the average of all other shipyards. The SS Robert E. Peary was assembled in less than five days as a part of a special competition among shipyards; the SS Red Oak Victory is a Victory ship preserved as a museum ship. It was one of 414 Victories built during World War II, but one of only a few of these ships to be transferred from the Merchant Marine to the U. S. Navy; the vessel issued cargo and munitions to various ships in the fleet throughout 1945. During a hazardous tour of duty in the Pacific, SS Red Oak Victory handled many tons of ammunition, supplying the fleet without a single casualty; the huge explosion of workers coming to live in cities like Richmond, caused intense strain on city infrastructure.
One of these strains was the severe lack of housing. Workers arriving in these expanding urban centers were forced to find what they could, they shared "hot beds", or just camped out. Atchison Village Housing Project is an example of the local-Federal collaboration that provided much needed housing and domesti
Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, USA, between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The preserve was established October 31, 1994, with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act by the US Congress, it was the East Mojave National Scenic Area, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. Mojave National Preserve is vast. At 1,600,000 acres, it is the third largest unit of the National Park System in the contiguous United States. Natural features include the Kelso Dunes, the Marl Mountains and the Cima Dome, as well as volcanic formations such as Hole-in-the-Wall and the Cinder Cone Lava Beds; the preserve encloses Providence Mountains State Recreation Area and Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve, which are both managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Impressive Joshua tree forests are found in parts of the preserve; the forest covering Cima Dome and the adjacent Shadow Valley is the largest and densest in the world.
The ghost town of Kelso is found in the preserve, with the defunct railroad depot serving as the Visitor Center. The preserve is traversed by 4 wheel drive vehicles traveling on the historic Mojave Road. Climate in the preserve varies greatly. Summer temperatures average 90 °F, with highs exceeding 105 °F. Elevations in the preserve range from 7,929 feet at Clark Mountain to 880 feet near Baker. Annual precipitation varies from 3.37 inches near Baker, to 9 inches in the mountains. At least 25% of precipitation comes from summer thunderstorms. Snow is found in the mountains during the winter; the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 designated a wilderness area within Mojave National Preserve of 695,200 acres. The National Park Service manages the wilderness in accordance with the Wilderness Act, the CDPA, other laws that protect cultural and historic sites in the wilderness; the following climate data is for a higher elevation area in the preserve. See Climate of the Mojave Desert. Mojave Memorial Cross Official website Photo tour of Mojave National Preserve - from USGS
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument is a 116-acre U. S. National Monument in Keene, Kern County, California located about 32 miles away from Bakersfield, California; the property was the headquarters of the United Farm Workers, home to César Chávez from the early 1970s until his death in 1993, Chávez's gravesite is located in the property's gardens along with that of his wife, Helen Fabela Chávez. Developed as a headquarters and worker housing area for a quarry, it served as a tuberculosis sanitarium in the early 1900s, until its acquisition by the UFW in the early 1970s. Cesar E. Chavez National Monument was established by President Barack Obama on October 8, 2012 by proclamation under authority of the Antiquities Act; the monument is located among the Tehachapi Mountains in Keene, about 32 miles southeast of Bakersfield. The property is known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz, designated as a National Historic Landmark along with the monument on October 8, 2012; the monument is the 398th unit in the National Park System and is managed collaboratively by the National Park Service and the National Chavez Center.
The Center and members of the Chávez family donated properties of La Paz to the federal government to establish the national monument. Initial funding was provided by the America Latino Heritage Fund; some of the monument's services and programs are still in development, but a visitor center and memorial garden where Chavez is buried are open to the public. Certain areas of the monument are closed to the public due to the Chávez family still living in La Paz, members of the UFW still working in the UFW offices located on the property. In October 2013, the site was identified as one of several to be part of a proposed new National Historical Park to commemorate the life and work of Cesar Chávez and the farm worker movement. Other sites for the proposed new park—which requires Congressional approval—include the Filipino Community Hall in Delano, The Forty Acres, McDonnell Hall in San Jose, the Santa Rita Center in Phoenix, Arizona. California Historical Landmarks in Kern County, California List of National Historic Landmarks in California National Register of Historic Places listings in Kern County, California List of National Monuments of the United States NPS: Official Cesar E. Chavez National Monument website Chavezfoundation.org: Cesar Chavez Foundation
Redwood National and State Parks
The Redwood National and State Parks are a complex of several state and national parks located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks, the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres, feature old-growth temperate rainforests. Located within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres; these trees are one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the redwood forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams, 37 miles of pristine coastline. In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast; the northern portion of that area inhabited by Native Americans, attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a minor gold rush brought them to the region.
Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned toward harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco and other places on the West Coast. After many decades of unrestricted clear-cut logging, serious efforts toward conservation began. By the 1920s the work of the Save the Redwoods League, founded in 1918 to preserve remaining old-growth redwoods, resulted in the establishment of Prairie Creek, Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks among others. Redwood National Park was created in 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged; the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation administratively combined Redwood National Park with the three abutting Redwood State Parks in 1994 for the purpose of cooperative forest management and stabilization of forests and watersheds as a single unit. The ecosystem of the RNSP preserves a number of threatened animal species such as the tidewater goby, Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl, Steller's sea lion.
In recognition of the rare ecosystem and cultural history found in the parks, the United Nations designated them a World Heritage Site on September 5, 1980 and part of the California Coast Ranges International Biosphere Reserve on June 30, 1983. Modern day native groups such as the Yurok, Karok and Wiyot all have historical ties to the region, some Native American groups still live in the park area today. Archaeological study shows. An 1852 census determined that the Yurok were the most numerous, with 55 villages and an estimated population of 2,500, they used the abundant redwood, which with its linear grain was split into planks, as a building material for boats and small villages. For buildings, the planks would be erected side by side in a narrow trench, with the upper portions bound with leather strapping and held by notches cut into the supporting roof beams. Redwood boards were used to form a shallow sloping roof. Previous to Jedediah Smith in 1828, no other explorer of European descent is known to have investigated the inland region away from the immediate coast.
The discovery of gold along the Trinity River in 1850 led to a minor secondary rush in California. This brought miners into the area and many stayed on at the coast after failing to strike it rich; this led to conflicts wherein native peoples were placed under great strain, if not forcibly removed or massacred. By 1895, only one third of the Yurok in one group of villages remained; the miners logged redwoods for building. Over 2,000,000 acres of the California and southwestern coast of Oregon were old-growth redwood forest, but by 1910, extensive logging led conservationists and concerned citizens to begin seeking ways to preserve the remaining trees, which they saw being logged at an alarming rate. In 1911, U. S. Representative John E. Raker, of California, became the first politician to introduce legislation for the creation of a redwood national park. However, no further action was taken by Congress at that time. Preservation of the redwood stands in California is considered one of the most substantial conservation contributions of the Boone and Crockett Club.
The Save the Redwoods League was founded in 1918 by Boone and Crockett Club members Madison Grant, John C. Merriam, Henry Fairfield Osborn, future member, Frederick Russell Burnham; the initial purchases of land were made by club member Stephen William Kent. In 1921, Boone and Crockett Club member John C. Phillips donated $32,000 to purchase land and create the Raynal Bolling Memorial Grove in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park; this was timely as U. S. Route 101, which would soon provide nearly unfettered access to the trees, was under construction. Using matching funds provided by the County of Humboldt and by the State of California, the Save the Redwoods League] managed to protect areas of concentrated or multiple redwood groves and a few entire forests in the 1920s; as California created a state park system, beginning in 1927, three of the preserved redwood areas became Prairie Creek Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks. A fourth became Humboldt Redwoods State Park, by far the largest of the individual Redwood State Parks, but not in the Redwood National and State Park system.
Because of the
Desert Center, California
Desert Center is a census designated place in the Colorado Desert in Riverside County, California. It is in southern California, between the cities of Indio and Blythe at the junction of Interstate 10 and State Route 177, about halfway between Phoenix and Los Angeles; the ZIP Code is 92239, the community is in telephone area codes 442 and 760. The elevation is 656 feet; the population was 204 at the 2010 census. The town was founded in 1921 by Stephen A. Ragsdale known as "Desert Steve", his wife, Lydia. Ragsdale was an itinerant preacher and cotton farmer from Arkansas. In 1915, he left his farm in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River to attend to some business in Los Angeles; the road between Phoenix and Los Angeles was sand, Ragsdale's vehicle broke down near a place called Gruendyke's Well. This was inhabited by a prospector named Bill Gruendyke. Gruendyke rescued Ragsdale and gave him food and water until his vehicle was repaired and he could resume his journey to Los Angeles. Upon his return, Ragsdale bought out Gruendyke and moved his family to the remote spot, where they constructed a small shack with a lean-to that served as a repair garage.
A Model T truck was modified to serve as a tow car. Gasoline was pumped by hand from a 55-gallon drum. Lydia served food and refreshments to weary travelers. In spite of the remote location—50 miles in any direction from anything—the Ragsdales prospered. Ragsdale named his outpost "Desert Center". In 1921, it was announced that the sand road running through Desert Center would be relocated about 5 miles north, straightened and named U. S. Route 60, a modern "high-speed" highway. Ragsdale abandoned "old Desert Center" and built a poured-concrete café in the adobe style with an attached gasoline station and a huge service garage. Across the road, a series of wooden structures were built, including a market, a post office, he built several cabins for travelers, a large "plunge" next to the café where travelers could escape the desert heat. Ragsdale was a desert eccentric of the first order, his advertising for Desert Center in publications such as Desert Magazine reflected his personality: "U Need Us—We Need U", "Our Main Street is 100-miles long!", "We lost our keys...we can't close!", "Free Room and Board Every Day The Sun Doesn't Shine In Desert Center", "If You Don't Believe Me, You Can Go To Hell, or Visit Me in Desert Center in August!
Nuf sed, Steve". Ragsdale was a teetotaler and once hung a sign on the door of the café which read, "No Drunks. No Dogs. We prefer dogs." He was known to take a stick to travelers who were drunk in his café. When Ragsdale needed a teacher for his own children and the few others in the town, the county declined to send one. Ragsdale hastily built a basic structure of stick framing with paper board walls to use as a schoolhouse, placed an ad in Los Angeles newspapers asking for an auto mechanic with a large family, which he got, a teacher was indeed provided by the county. One morning, the town awoke to find that goats had gotten loose and had eaten the paper board walls of the schoolhouse as high as they could stand on their hind legs; the Ragsdales still have a photo of the goat-eaten schoolhouse. Ragsdale retreated to his writing shack near the north tip of the rock formation called "The Alligator" where he composed bad poetry—the stanzas are referred to as "Spasm #1", etc.—to be distributed in booklet form to travelers.
Ragsdale was a close friend of many classic "desert people" such as Randall Henderson, founder of Desert Magazine. Jaeger. Oliver printed items about Desert Steve in his'newspaper,' the Desert Rat Scrap Book. Within a few years, Ragsdale operated a number of satellite businesses in locations such as Cactus City, Skyway, Box Canyon, Shaver's Well. Around 1950, he was accused of dallying with an office worker in his employ and left Desert Center in disgrace, living the rest of his days in self-imposed exile at his log cabin retreat near the summit of Santa Rosa Mountain, his sons, Stanley and Herbert, took over operations of Desert Center, Stanley purchased the town from his father. Stanley ran it for decades, adding the Stanco gasoline station. "Desert Steve" Ragsdale died in 1971 and is buried in the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery though he had dug his own grave near Desert Center prior to his 1950 departure and had placed a memorial plaque near it. The empty grave and marker still exist. In the early 1930s, Dr. Sidney R. Garfield, who had just graduated from University of Southern California, went to visit a former classmate with a practice in Indio.
The practice was thriving to capacity, while Garfield was nearly without business in Depression-era Los Angeles. Garfield's friend explained that he was the closest doctor to 5,000 men digging the Colorado River Aqueduct under direction of The Seven Companies, Inc; the project site's headquarters was just southeast of Desert Center. Garfield constructed a 4-bed clinic near the construction site; the clinic was cooled by an ammonia air-conditioning system and at the time was the only air-conditioned building between Riverside and Phoenix. Garfi
Castle Mountains National Monument
Castle Mountains National Monument is a U. S. National Monument located in the eastern Mojave Desert and northeastern San Bernardino County, in the state of California; the park protects 20,920 acres, located between the interstates I−15 and I−40, northwest of the Colorado River. The national monument protects a section of the Castle Mountains, a range located in San Bernardino County and Clark County, Nevada; the range lies south and east of the New York Mountains, southwest of Searchlight and west of Cal-Nev-Ari, Nevada. The range lies at the northeastern end of Lanfair Valley and reaches 5,543 feet in elevation at the summit of Hart Peak and 5580 ft at Linder Peak; the mountains lie in a southwest-northeasterly direction. The Piute Range lies to the southeast. Castle Mountains National Monument is surrounded on three sides by the NPS Mojave National Preserve, it surrounds the Castle Mountain Mine Area, an open pit gold mine in the southern Castle Mountains owned by Canadian NewCastle Gold Ltd. who can excavate nearly 10 million tons of ore through 2025, though due to low gold prices mining has been suspended since 2001.
The national monument proclamation states that after any such mining and reclamation are completed, or after 10 years if no mining occurs, the Federal land in the 8,340 acre Castle Mountain Mine Area is to be transferred to the National Park Service. It was designated by President Obama on February 12, 2016, along with Mojave Trails National Monument and Sand to Snow National Monument in Southern California. Of the three it is the only one to be managed by the National Park Service, with the other two being placed under the control of the Bureau of Land Management and/or the United States Forest Service. Natural history of the Mojave Desert Protected areas of the Mojave Desert Mojave National Preserve topics National Park Service: official Castle Mountains National Monument website Campaign for the California Desert.org: Castle Mountains National Monument — natural and cultural features. Site location of Castle Mountain Mine, adjacent south of Hart, California, at south region of Castle Mountains Media related to Mojave Desert at Wikimedia Commons
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California—Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada. The park boundaries include Death Valley, the northern section of Panamint Valley, the southern section of Eureka Valley, most of Saline Valley; the park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, valleys and mountains. Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 states, the hottest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States; the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, 282 feet below sea level. 91% of the park is a designated wilderness area. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment; some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984.
A series of Native American groups inhabited the area from as early as 7000 BC, most the Timbisha around 1000 AD who migrated between winter camps in the valleys and summer grounds in the mountains. A group of European-Americans, trapped in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California, gave the valley its name though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver; the only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The valley became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, movies. Tourism expanded in the 1920s when resorts were built around Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was expanded and became a national park in 1994; the natural environment of the area has been shaped by its geology. The valley is a graben with the oldest rocks being extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old.
Ancient, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred; the subduction created a line of volcanoes. The crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly. In 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association. There are two major valleys in Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years and both are bounded by north–south-trending mountain ranges; these and adjacent valleys follow the general trend of Basin and Range topography with one modification: there are parallel strike-slip faults that perpendicularly bound the central extent of Death Valley. The result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.
Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the valley floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the alluvial fans there are small and steep compared to the huge alluvial fans coming off the Panamint Range. Fast uplift of a mountain range in an arid environment does not allow its canyons enough time to cut a classic V-shape all the way down to the stream bed. Instead, a V-shape ends at a slot canyon halfway down, forming a'wine glass canyon.' Sediment is deposited on a steep alluvial fan. At 282 feet below sea level at its lowest point, Badwater Basin on Death Valley's floor is the second-lowest depression in the Western Hemisphere, while Mount Whitney, only 85 miles to the west, rises to 14,505 feet; this topographic relief is the greatest elevation gradient in the contiguous United States and is the terminus point of the Great Basin's southwestern drainage. Although the extreme lack of water in the Great Basin makes this distinction of little current practical use, it does mean that in wetter times the lake that once filled Death Valley was the last stop for water flowing in the region, meaning the water there was saturated in dissolved materials.
Thus the salt pans in Death Valley are among the largest in the world and are rich in minerals, such as borax and various salts and hydrates. The largest salt pan in the park extends 40 miles from the Ashford Mill Site to the Salt Creek Hills, covering some 200 square miles of the valley floor; the best known playa in the park is the Racetrack, known for its moving rocks. Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America due to its lack of surface water and low relief, it is so the hottest spot in the United States that many tabulations of the highest daily temperatures in the country omit Death Valley as a matter of course. On the afternoon of July 10, 1913, the United States Weather Bureau recorded a high temperature of 134 °F at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley; this temperature stands as the highest ambient air temperature recorded at the surface of the Earth. Daily summer temperatures of 120 °F or greater are common, as well as below freezing nightly temperatur