Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a 2-acre U. S. national memorial in Washington D. C, it honors service members of the U. S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, those service members who were unaccounted for during the war. Its construction and related issues have been the source of controversies, some of which have resulted in additions to the memorial complex; the memorial consists of three parts: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, completed first and the best-known part of the memorial. The main part of the memorial, completed in 1982, is in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial; the memorial is maintained by the U. S. National Park Service, receives around 3 million visitors each year; the Memorial Wall was designed by American architect Maya Lin. In 2007, it was ranked tenth on the "List of America's Favorite Architecture" by the American Institute of Architects; as a National Memorial, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Memorial Wall is made up of two 246-foot-9-inch long black granite walls, polished to a high finish making them appear to have a mirror effect. The walls are sunken with the earth behind them. At the highest tip, they are 10.1 feet high, they taper to a height of 8 inches at their extremities. Symbolically, this is described as a "wound, closed and healing"; the stone for the 144 panels was quarried in India. When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen with the engraved names, meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. One wall points toward the Washington Monument, the other in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial, meeting at an angle of 125° 12′; each wall has 72 panels, 70 listing names and two small blank panels at the extremities. There is a pathway along the base of the Wall; the wall listed 57,939 names when it was dedicated in 1982. The number of names on the wall is different than the official number of U. S. Vietnam War deaths, 58,220 as of May 2018.
The names inscribed are not a complete list of those who are eligible for inclusion as some names were omitted at the request of families. Directories containing all of the names are located on nearby podiums at both ends of the monument where visitors may locate specific names; the memorial has had some unforeseen maintenance issues. In 1984, cracks were detected in the granite and, as a result, two of the panels were temporarily removed in 1986 for study. More cracks were discovered in 2010. There are a number of hypotheses about the cause of the cracks, with one forwarded being due to thermal cycling. In 1990, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund purchased several blank panels to use in case any were destroyed, which were placed into storage at Quantico Marine Base. Two of the blank panels were shattered by the 2011 Virginia earthquake. Inscribed in the memorial are the names of service members classified as "declared dead". Included are the names of those whose status is unknown, which means "missing in action".
The names are inscribed in Optima typeface. Information about rank and decorations is not given; those who are declared dead are denoted by a diamond, those who are status unknown are denoted with a cross. When the death of one, missing is confirmed, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. If the missing were to return alive, which has never occurred to date, the cross is to be circumscribed by a circle; the earliest date of eligibility for a name to be included on the memorial is November 1, 1955, which corresponds to President Eisenhower deploying the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. The last date of eligibility is May 15, 1975, which corresponds to the final day of the Mayaguez incident. There are circumstances that allow for a name to be added to the memorial, but the death must be directly attributed to a wound received within the combat zone while on active duty. In such cases, the determination is made by the Department of Defense. In these cases, the name is added according to the date of injury—not the date of death.
The names are listed in chronological order, starting at the apex on panel 1E in July 8, 1959, moving day by day to the end of the eastern wall at panel 70E, which ended on May 25, 1968, starting again at panel 70W at the end of the western wall which completes the list for May 25, 1968, returning to the apex at panel 1W in 1975. There are some deaths that predate July 8, 1959 including the death of Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. in 1956. The names of 32 men were erroneously included in the memorial, while those names remain on the wall, they have been removed from the databases and printed directories; the extra names resulted from a deliberate decision to err on the side of inclusiveness, with 38 questionable names being included. One person, whose name was added as late as 1992, had gone AWOL upon his return to the United States after his second completed tour of duty, his survival only came to the attenti
The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D. C. dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, one of the most important of the American Founding Fathers as the main drafter and writer of the Declaration of Independence, member of the Continental Congress, governor of the newly independent Commonwealth of Virginia, American minister to King Louis XVI, the Kingdom of France, first U. S. Secretary of State under the first President George Washington, the second Vice President of the United States under second President John Adams, the third President, as well as being the founder of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Virginia; the neoclassical Memorial building is situated in West Potomac Park on the shore of the Tidal Basin off the Washington Channel of the Potomac River. It was designed by the architect John Russell Pope and built by the Philadelphia contractor John McShain. Construction of the building began in 1939 and was completed in 1943; the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947.
Pope made references to the Roman Pantheon and Jefferson's own design for the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. The Jefferson Memorial, the White House located directly north, form one of the main anchor points in the area of the National Mall in D. C; the Washington Monument, just east of the axis on the national Mall, was intended to be located at the intersection of the White House and the site for the Jefferson Memorial to the south, but soft swampy ground which defied 19th century engineering required it be sited to the east. The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior under its National Mall and Memorial Parks division. In 2007, it was ranked fourth on the "List of America's Favorite Architecture" by the American Institute of Architects, it became apparent that the site was well suited for another high-profile memorial since it sat directly south of the White House. By 1901 the Senate Park Commission, better known as the McMillan Commission, had proposed placing a Pantheon-like structure on the site hosting "the statues of the illustrious men of the nation, or whether the memory of some individual shall be honored by a monument of the first rank may be left to the future".
The completion of the Tidal Basin Inlet Bridge in 1908 helped to facilitate the recreational usage of East and West Potomac Parks. In 1918, large liquid-chlorine dispensers were installed under the bridge to treat the water and make the Tidal Basin suitable for swimming; the Tidal Basin Beach, on the site of the future Memorial, opened in May 1918 and operated as a "Whites Only" facility until 1925, when it was permanently closed to avoid the question of racial integration. A design competition was held for a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt in 1925; the winning design was submitted by John Russell Pope and consisted of a half-circle memorial situated next to a circular basin. The plan was not built; the Memorial's chance came in 1934 when President Franklin Roosevelt, an admirer of Jefferson himself, inquired to the Commission of Fine Arts about the possibility of erecting a memorial to Jefferson, including it in the plans for the Federal Triangle project, under construction at the time. The same year, Congressman John J. Boylan jumped off FDR's starting point and urged Congress to create the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission.
Boylan was appointed the Commission's first chairman and Congress appropriated $3 million for a memorial to Jefferson. The Commission chose John Russell Pope as the architect in 1935. Pope was the architect of the National Archives Building and original building of the National Gallery of Art, he prepared four different plans for each on a different site. One was on the Anacostia River at the end of East Capitol Street; the Commission preferred the site on the Tidal Basin because it was the most prominent site and because it completed the four-point plan called for by the McMillan Commission. Pope designed a large pantheon-like structure, to sit on a square platform, to be flanked by two smaller, colonnaded buildings. Construction began on December 15, 1938, the cornerstone was laid on November 15, 1939, by Franklin Roosevelt. By this point Pope had died and his surviving partners, Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers, took over construction of the memorial; the design was modified at the request of the Commission of Fine Arts to a more conservative design.
Construction commenced amid significant opposition. The Commission of Fine Arts never approved any design for the Memorial and published a pamphlet in 1939 opposing both the design and site of the Memorial. In addition, many Washingtonians opposed the site because it was not aligned with L'Enfant's original plan. Many well established elm and cherry trees had to be removed for construction. Construction continued amid the opposition. In 1939, the Memorial Commission hosted a competition to select a sculptor for the planned statue in the center of the Memorial, they chose six finalists. Of the six, Rudulph Evans was chosen as the main sculptor and Adolph A. Weinman was chosen to sculpt the pediment relief situated above the entrance. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. designed the memorial landscape. The Olmsted planting plan installed at the time of construction featured a simple design within a circular driveway.
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
George Washington Memorial Parkway
The George Washington Memorial Parkway, colloquially the G. W. Parkway, is a 25-mile-long parkway that runs along the south bank of the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, northwest to McLean, is maintained by the National Park Service, it is located entirely within Virginia, except for a short portion of the parkway northwest of the Arlington Memorial Bridge that passes over Columbia Island within the District of Columbia. The parkway is separated into two sections joined by Washington Street in Alexandria. A third section, the Clara Barton Parkway, runs on the opposite side of the Potomac River in the District of Columbia and suburban Montgomery County, Maryland. A fourth section was proposed for Fort Washington, but never built; the parkway has been designated an All-American Road. Virginia's official state designation for the parkway is State Route 90005. At Mount Vernon, the parkway begins at a traffic circle, where it joins/leaves SR 235. Most of this route was taken from the Washington and Mount Vernon Railway's right-of-way.
The southern section with at-grade intersections. It extends from Mount Vernon, past Fort Hunt to South Washington Street at the southern end of Alexandria; the Mount Vernon Trail parallels the southern and middle sections of the parkway, is filled with recreational and commuter cyclists and runners. Points of interest on or near the parkway are Mount Vernon Plantation, Huntley Meadows Park, P. O. Box 1142, Fort Hunt Park, Dyke Marsh, Hunting Creek, Jones Point, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Although designated as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Washington Street in Alexandria still belongs to and is maintained by the City of Alexandria. In 1929, the city and the federal government entered into a memorandum of agreement; the MOA gave the federal government a irrevocable easement over Washington Street. It called for the construction of roundabouts at both the north and south ends of Washington Street as transition points between the rural and urban sections of the parkway; the MOA required Alexandria to adopt zoning regulations so that construction along Washington Street would be "of such character and of such types of buildings as will be in keeping with the dignity and memorial character of said highway".
Commercial vehicles, such as trucks, are prohibited from the George Washington Memorial Parkway. However and airport shuttles are allowed to operate on the parkway; the northern section extends from North Washington Street at First Street, at the northern end of Old Town Alexandria, to its terminus at Interstate 495, in Fairfax County, just south of the Potomac River. It follows the Potomac River, passing through Arlington County, serves as the primary access point to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport; the Parkway provides automobile access to Theodore Roosevelt Island, the LBJ National Grove, Gravelly Point Park, Fort Marcy, Columbia Island Marina and Turkey Run Park. There are scenic view rest areas for those wishing to view the Georgetown skyline and the Potomac Palisades; the cloverleaf interchange with the 14th Street Bridge, dating to 1932, is one of the oldest cloverleaf interchanges in the United States. The Spout Run Parkway connects the George Washington Memorial Parkway to US Route 29, providing an indirect connection to I-66.
The portion of the parkway north of National Airport and SR 233 is part of the National Highway System. The trip by DC area residents to see George Washington's family estate at Mount Vernon was seen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a patriotic duty as well as an opportunity to learn about American history and democratic values. In the late 19th century, most people took a steamboat excursion from DC. By the 1920s, 200,000 people a year were visiting Mount Vernon. In the 1880s, officials in Alexandria, attempted to boost local commerce by advocating for a "national road" to Mt. Vernon, they formed the Mount Vernon Avenue Association in September 1887. Congress appropriated $10,000 for a survey in 1889; the United States Army Corps of Engineers conducted the survey, in its report agreed that a superior, no-expense-spared road from Alexandria to Mount Vernon was necessary. However, construction of the Washington and Mount Vernon Railway between 1892 and 1896 dealt a serious blow to the plan.
During the Alexandria Sesquicentennial in 1899, several Alexandria civic boosters called for a bridge to be built between Alexandria and Washington, DC. This reignited interest in a roadway to Mount Vernon; the idea generated interest among many of the individuals active in the City Beautiful movement, Colonial Revival architecture movement, groups dedicated to promoting local and national history. Soon, the idea of a roadway became a call for a grandiose, monumental avenue lined with Beaux-Arts memorials and roadside attractions; the idea received more impetus when the Daughters of the American Revolution took up the cause. In 1902, the McMillan Plan endorsed a road along the Virginia side of the Potomac River shoreline. Although Virginia was outside the plan's scope, the Senate Park Commission saw a Mount Vernon avenue as an extension of the DC park system as well as a means of protecting the Great Falls of the Potomac River and the Potomac Palisades; the McMillan Plan, focused not on a monumental avenue but on tree-lined boulevards and quiet carriage paths designed to relax and calm.
The Mount Vernon Avenue Association disbanded
George Mason Memorial
The George Mason Memorial is a memorial to Founding Father George Mason, the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights that inspired the United States Bill of Rights. The Memorial is located in West Potomac Park within Washington, D. C. at 24 E Basin Drive SW, a part of the Tidal Basin. Authorized in 1990, with a groundbreaking in 2000 and dedication in 2002, the memorial includes a sculpture of Mason, a pool, circular hedges, numerous inscriptions, it was the first memorial in the Tidal Basin area to be dedicated to someone, not a former President of the United States. The memorial commemorates the contributions of Mason, a Founding Father who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, served as a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, created much of the language and groundwork for what became the United States Bill of Rights. Mason, an Anti-Federalist, did not sign the United States Constitution because it did not abolish the slave trade and because he did not think it had necessary protection for the individual from the federal government.
He was sometimes known as the "reluctant statesman", the title of a biography written about him by Robert A. Rutland; the memorial was authorized by Public Law 101-358 on August 10, 1990, to be developed by the board of regents of Gunston Hall, a museum at Mason's historic home in Mason Neck, Virginia. The memorial's landscape architect was Faye B. Harwell and the sculptor was Wendy M. Ross; the groundbreaking was October 18, 2000, the completed memorial was dedicated on April 9, 2002. The memorial was placed within an existing historic garden, at the site of the last remaining "national garden" of the four, established in Washington by the McMillan Plan of 1902. In 1929, the garden was redesigned as "the Pansy Garden." The designers of the George Mason Memorial researched and restored the original circular garden layout, plantings drew from that heritage, as well as from Mason's own favored plants and those used at Gunston Hall. The George Mason Memorial is administered as part of the National Park Service and is within the jurisdiction of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
The George Mason Memorial is one of three sites in the National Mall area where weddings are permitted. The memorial is one of many outdoor public art installations within Ward 2 of the District, it is located near the intersection of Ohio Drive and East Basin Drive, The site is within the southwest quadrant of the District of Columbia, within West Potomac Park. It is located near the five "14th Street bridges" across the Potomac River, one of, named for Mason; the design features a 72-foot long stone wall with a one-third larger than life-sized statue of a sitting Mason, his legs crossed, a circular pool with a fountain. Mason leans back on his left hand to ponder something from Cicero's De Officiis which he holds closed on his right index finger. Two other volumes, On Understanding by John Locke and Du Contract Social by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, sit on the bench to Mason's left. Mason's walking stick leans on his hat; the circular hedges and pool are supported by a 9 ft × 72 ft trellis that curves around the back of the memorial.
Underneath the trellis are three walls with inscriptions that are 4 feet high, which include the following quotes: "This was George Mason, a man of the first order of wisdom among those who acted on the theatre of the revolution, of expansive mind, profound judgment, cogent in argument.... Thomas Jefferson, 1821""Regarding slavery.... that slow poison, daily contaminating the minds and morals of our people. Every gentlemen here is born a petty tyrant. Practiced in acts of despotism and cruelty, we become callous to the dictates of humanity, all the finer feelings of the soul. Taught to regard a part of our own species in the most abject and contemptible degree below us, we lose that idea of the dignity of man, which the hand of nature had implanted in us, for great and useful purposes.... George Mason, July 1773""I recommend it to my sons.... never to let the motives of private interest or ambition to induce them to betray, nor the terrors of poverty and disgrace or the fear of danger or of death deter them from asserting the liberty of their country, endeavoring to transmit to their posterity those sacred rights to which themselves were born.
George Mason, March 1773""All men are born free and independent, have certain inherent natural rights... among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. George Mason, May 1776""The first declaration of rights which deserves the name is that of Virginia... and its author is entitled to the eternal gratitude of mankind. Marquis de Condorcet, Paris 1789" National Park Service: official George Mason Memorial website
Constitution Gardens is a park area in Washington, D. C. United States, located within the boundaries of the National Mall; the 50-acre park is bounded on the west by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, on the east by 17th St NW, on the north by Constitution Avenue, on the south by the Reflecting Pool. Constitution Gardens has a small pond; the land that became Constitution Gardens was submerged beneath the Potomac River and was dredged at the beginning of the 20th century by the Army Corps of Engineers. The U. S. Navy built the Main Navy and Munitions Buildings as temporary offices on the land during World War I; the buildings were demolished in 1970 due in part to lobbying by President Richard Nixon, who had served in the offices as a navy officer. President Nixon subsequently ordered that a park be established on the land, in 1976, Constitution Gardens was dedicated as a "living legacy American Revolution Bicentennial tribute." It has been a separate park unit in the National Park Service since 1982, administered under the National Capitol Parks-Central.
In July 1982, the Memorial to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence was dedicated on the small island in the lake. On November 13 of the same year, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was dedicated within Constitution Gardens. On September 17, 1986, President Ronald Reagan formally proclaimed the park a "living legacy tribute" to the United States Constitution, in honor of the bicentennial of the U. S. Constitution one year later. From March 17 to March 19, 2003, Constitution Gardens was the site of a bizarre standoff between federal police and a disgruntled tobacco farmer, Dwight Watson. Watson had driven his tractor into the center of the lake and claimed he had explosives, prompting the evacuation of the area and holding the FBI and U. S. Park Police at bay for 48 hours before he surrendered. During the standoff, Watson dug up part of the island and damaged a retaining wall but did not harm any of the monuments; as home to famous monuments, Constitution Gardens continues to have millions of visitors every year.
It is the site of an annual naturalization ceremony for new U. S. citizens hosted by the National Park Service. 1976 – In a series of plans and designs, architecture firm Skidmore and Merrill and Modern landscape architect Dan Kiley completed Constitution Gardens as a picturesque restful park with a small lake, which would contrast with the "formalism of the Grand Axis." Meandering paths would traverse meadows shaded by tree canopy. Construction budgets were reduced from $14M to $6.7M. In 1984, the Memorial to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence was completed and placed on an island in Constitution Gardens Lake, it was designed with Joe Brown, FASLA, as the principal landscape architect. The low-key design features a granite semi-circle with gold signatures of the Founding Fathers, organized by the original thirteen states. A 2011–12 national design competition was sponsored by the Trust for the National Mall to select a design team for the redesign of three sites: Constitution Gardens, the Sylvan Theater, Union Square.
After an intense and publicized competition, the Trust for the National Mall has announced the three winning teams selected to redesign the neglected sites of "America's front yard". As reported by the Washington Post, Rogers Marvel Architects and PWP Landscape Architecture will redesign Constitution Gardens east of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Peter Walker and Partners will transform the lake into a critical piece of water infrastructure that reduces the damaging impacts of stormwater while creating a source of water for reuse in irrigation and toilets. "History & Culture". Constitution Gardens. Washington, D. C.: National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-06-19. "Constitution Gardens", National Park Service "Trust for the National Mall: Constitution Gardens"
National Park Service
The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior; the NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. As of 2018, the NPS employs 27,000 employees who oversee 419 units, of which 61 are designated national parks. National parks and national monuments in the United States were individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior; the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior.
They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS. On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933; the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn't until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department.
President Roosevelt issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, run by an independent office. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected; the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public.
Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 60. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States. In 1872, there was no state government to manage it, so the federal government assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park began as a state park. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership. At first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the civilian staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the federal government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, the National Park Service, to manage all national parks and some national monuments.
Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. The agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them; the National Park System includes. The title or designation of a unit need not include the term park; the System as a whole is considered to be a national treasure of the United States, some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphorically as "crown jewels". The system encompasses 84.4 million acres, of which more than 4.3 million acres remain in private ownership. The largest unit is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. At 13,200,000 acres, it is over 16 percent of the entire system; the smallest unit in the system is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. In addition to administering its units and other properties, the National Park Service provides technical and financial assistance to several "affiliated areas" authorized by Congress.
The largest affiliated area is New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve at 1,164,025 acres. The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than 0.01 acres. Although all units of the Nat