Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral and political crisis, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, modernized the U. S. economy. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became Whig Party leader, state legislator and Congressman, he left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating and losing to national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in a Senate campaign, he ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the Constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery.
They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U. S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to restore the Union; as the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South. Lincoln fought the factions by pitting them against each other, by distributing political patronage, by appealing to the American people, his Gettysburg Address became an iconic call for nationalism, equal rights and democracy. He suspended habeas corpus, he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. Lincoln supervised the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade that shut down the South's trade; as the war progressed, he maneuvered to end slavery, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign, he sought to reconcile his damaged nation by avoiding retribution against the secessionists.
A few days after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, died the following day. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the United States' martyr hero, he is ranked both by scholars and the public as among the greatest U. S. presidents. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, as the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in a one-room log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, he was a descendant of Samuel Lincoln, an Englishman who migrated from Hingham, Norfolk, to its namesake Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638. Samuel's grandson and great-grandson began the family's westward migration, passing through New Jersey and Virginia. Lincoln's paternal grandfather and namesake, Captain Abraham Lincoln, moved the family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky, in the 1780s. Captain Lincoln was killed in an Indian raid in 1786, his children, including eight-year-old Thomas, Abraham's father, witnessed the attack.
Thomas worked at odd jobs in Kentucky and in Tennessee, before settling with members of his family in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s. Lincoln's mother, Nancy, is assumed to have been the daughter of Lucy Hanks, although no record documents this. Thomas and Nancy married on June 12, 1806, in Washington County, moved to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, they produced three children: Sarah, born on February 10, 1807. Thomas Lincoln leased farms in Kentucky. Thomas became embroiled in legal disputes, lost all but 200 acres of his land in court disputes over property titles. In 1816, the family moved to Indiana, where the survey process was more reliable and land titles were more secure. Indiana was a "free" territory, they settled in an "unbroken forest" in Hurricane Township, Perry County. In 1860, Lincoln noted that the family's move to Indiana was "partly on account of slavery", but due to land title difficulties. In Kentucky and Indiana, Thomas worked as a farmer and carpenter, he owned farms, town lots and livestock, paid taxes, sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, guarded prisoners.
Thomas and Nancy were members of a Separate Baptists church, which forbade alcohol and slavery. Overcoming financial challenges, Thomas obtained clear title to 80 acres of land in what became known as the Little Pigeon Creek Community. On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of milk sickness, leaving 11-year-old Sarah in charge of a household that included her father, 9-year-old Abraham, Dennis Hanks, Nancy's 19-year-old orphaned cousin; those who knew Lincoln recalled that he was distraught over his sister's death on January 20, 1828, while giving birth to a stillborn son. On December 2, 1819, Thomas married Sarah "Sally" Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, with three children of her own. Abraham became close to his stepmother, whom he referred t
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, the natural hazards that threaten it; the organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility; the USGS is a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. The USGS employs 8,670 people and is headquartered in Reston, Virginia; the USGS has major offices near Lakewood, Colorado, at the Denver Federal Center, Menlo Park, California. The current motto of the USGS, in use since August 1997, is "science for a changing world." The agency's previous slogan, adopted on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, was "Earth Science in the Public Service." Since 2012, the USGS science focus is directed at six topical "Mission Areas", namely Climate and Land Use Change, Core Science Systems, Ecosystems and Minerals and Environmental Health, Natural Hazards, Water.
In December 2012, the USGS split the Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health Mission Area resulting in seven topical Mission Areas, with the two new areas being: Energy and Minerals and Environmental Health. Administratively, it is divided into six Regional Units. Other specific programs include: Earthquake Hazards Program monitors earthquake activity worldwide; the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines detects the location and magnitude of global earthquakes. The USGS runs or supports several regional monitoring networks in the United States under the umbrella of the Advanced National Seismic System; the USGS informs authorities, emergency responders, the media, the public, both domestic and worldwide, about significant earthquakes. It maintains long-term archives of earthquake data for scientific and engineering research, it conducts and supports research on long-term seismic hazards. USGS has released the UCERF California earthquake forecast.
As of 2005, the agency is working to create a National Volcano Early Warning System by improving the instrumentation monitoring the 169 volcanoes in U. S. territory and by establishing methods for measuring the relative threats posed at each site. The USGS National Geomagnetism Program monitors the magnetic field at magnetic observatories and distributes magnetometer data in real time; the USGS collaborates with Canadian and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective. The USGS operates the streamgaging network for the United States, with over 7400 streamgages. Real-time streamflow data are available online. National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center implements partner-driven science to improve understanding of past and present land use change, develops relevant climate and land use forecasts, identifies lands and communities that are most vulnerable to adverse impacts of change from the local to global scale.
Since 1962, the Astrogeology Research Program has been involved in global and planetary exploration and mapping. In collaboration with Stanford University, the USGS operates the USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory, a world-class analytical facility for U--Pb geochronology and trace element analyses of minerals and other earth materials. USGS operates a number of water related programs, notably the National Streamflow Information Program and National Water-Quality Assessment Program. USGS Water data is publicly available from their National Water Information System database; the USGS operates the National Wildlife Health Center, whose mission is "to serve the nation and its natural resources by providing sound science and technical support, to disseminate information to promote science-based decisions affecting wildlife and ecosystem health. The NWHC provides information, technical assistance, research and leadership on national and international wildlife health issues." It is the agency responsible for surveillance of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the United States.
The USGS runs 17 biological research centers in the United States, including the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The USGS is investigating collaboration with the social networking site Twitter to allow for more rapid construction of ShakeMaps; the USGS produces several national series of topographic maps which vary in scale and extent, with some wide gaps in coverage, notably the complete absence of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps or their equivalent. The largest and best-known topographic series is the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 scale, quadrangle, a non-metric scale unique to the United States. Each of these maps covers an area bounded by two lines of latitude and two lines of longitude spaced 7.5 minutes apart. Nearly 57,000 individual maps in this series cover the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii, U. S. territories, areas of Alaska near Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay. The area covered by each map varies with the latitude of its represented location due to convergence of the meridians. At lower latitudes, near 30° north, a 7.5-minute quadrangle contains an area of about 64 square miles.
At 49° north latitude, 49 square miles are contained within a quadrangle of that size. As a unique non-metric map scale, the 1:24,000 scale requires a separate and specialized romer scale for pl
Port Royal, Virginia
Port Royal is an incorporated town in Caroline County, United States. The population was 126 at the 2010 census. Port Royal was established in the mid-17th century in the Colony of Virginia as a port at the head of the navigable reach of the Rappahannock River for export of tobacco, Virginia's cash crop; the town was set along an early stage road, which brought passengers and freight for embarkation upon the river there. It still remains a crossroads along the busy modern highways of U. S. Route 17 and U. S. Route 301. Port Royal is one of the area's more historic towns, it was first established in 1652 as a port at the head of sea-going navigation on the Rappahannock River during an era when waterways were the fastest and easiest method of transportation of people and property in the British colony of Virginia. It was an important point for export of Virginia's cash crop. Local tradition holds. Dorothy Roy and her husband John owned a warehouse chartered by the crown, a ferry service across the Rappahannock River to King George County, a tavern.
In the 21st century, the chimneys of the Roy house are preserved landmarks in the town. Port Royal was incorporated as a town in 1744; the "town green", upon which stands today the Town Hall and the firehouse, was forever reserved "for public and civic use". Shipping of property from the port began to decline after completion of railroads which began in Virginia in the 1830s; the last scheduled passenger ship service ended in 1932, supplanted by highways. However, Port Royal was served by the new highways which became U. S. Route 17 and U. S. Route 301, with their crossroads at Port Royal. Port Royal's most notable claim to fame is that John Wilkes Booth was killed about two miles outside town by Sgt. Boston Corbett, part of a contingent of federal troops, at the now obsolete Garrett farmstead on April 26, 1865, after Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln on the night of April 14, 1865, in Washington, DC. Booth escaped through southern Maryland and across the Potomac River as well as the Rappahannock River before being cornered in a tobacco barn on the Garrett farm at sunrise.
Shot through the neck and paralyzed, Booth died on the porch of the Garrett house. One of his accomplices in the murder, with him and captured at the Garrett farm, David Herold, was tried and hanged on July 7, 1865, along with other conspirators. Poet Judith Lomax lived in Port Royal for some years. Port Royal is located in northern Caroline County at 38°10′11″N 77°11′27″W, on the south bank of the Rappahannock River. U. S. Routes 17 and 301 cross just southwest of the town limits. US 17 leads northwest 21 miles to Fredericksburg and southeast 27 miles to Tappahannock, while US 301 leads northeast 17 miles to the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River and southwest 12 miles to Bowling Green, the Caroline County seat. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.10 square miles, all land. That changed in July 2014; as of the census of 2000, there were 170 people, 72 households, 43 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,467.9 people per square mile.
There were 90 housing units at an average density of 777.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 59.41% White, 38.24% African American, 0.59% from other races, 1.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population. There were 72 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.9% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.89. In the town, the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males. The median income for a household in the town was $31,429, the median income for a family was $33,750.
Males had a median income of $23,571 versus $19,167 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,878. None of the families and 7.2% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 10.4% of those over 64. Caroline County official website
The Northern Neck is the northernmost of three peninsulas on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This peninsula is bounded by the Potomac River on the Rappahannock River on the south, it encompasses the following Virginia counties: Lancaster, Northumberland and Westmoreland. The inclusion of King George County in the Northern Neck varies among commentators; the grant for the Northern Neck included all land between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers, including far upstream of King George County — some 5 million acres. The boundaries of King George and Westmoreland counties have changed radically since their establishment, with significant exchanges of territory. Significant portions of the early King George County lay in. In the winter of 1607–08, Captain John Smith traveled up the Rappahannock River as a prisoner of the Powhatans, he was the first European known to have visited the Northern Neck. The original Northern Neck land grant in 1661 was a land grant first contrived by the exiled English King Charles II in 1649.
It encompassed all the lands bounded by the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and by a straight line connecting their sources. This grant is larger than the area known as the Northern Neck; the original grant was given to a proprietor. Semi-autonomy relative to the colonial government was provided by the proprietorial government until the American Revolution. Most of the early development occurred on the eastern end of the peninsula where the Potomac and Rappahannock provided navigable waters; the autonomy and the excellent natural resources led the richest planters to establish tobacco plantations in the Northern Neck. During the Colonial period, the Northern Neck was referred to as the "Athens of the New World" because of its collection of rich landowners dedicated to learning, gentlemanly society, civic duty; this elite society was economically based on the exploitation of slave labor by Africans and African Americans. Because of this influx of well-to-do planters, an aristocratic society grew earlier than in areas to the south.
From this society, arose many leaders of the Revolution and the future young republic. These differences created strong antipathies between the regions; as the remainder of the mid-Atlantic states became developed, the importance of the Northern Neck would decline. It was isolated from main trade routes and cities; this isolation may be a product of the earlier antipathies related to the differences in society in the Neck and in the regions farther south. In 1687 a widespread slave conspiracy was crushed in the Northern Neck. During a mass funeral, slaves in the area planned to escape; the plot was discovered and its leaders executed. When authorities learned that they had plotted the uprising at gatherings for slave funerals, they prohibited such events; the next year, the Northern Neck was the site of another attempted uprising, this one led by "Sam, a Negro Servt to Richard Metcalfe." A repeat offender, he had "several times endeavored to promote a Negro Insurreccon in this Colony." "To deter him & others from the like evil practice for time to come," the court ordered the sheriff of James City County to whip him and return him to the Westmoreland County sheriff to be whipped again.
Sam was sentenced to forever wear "a strong Iron collar affixed about his neck with four sprigs." Should he leave his master's plantation or remove the collar, he would be hanged. Many important historical figures were born on the Northern Neck, including U. S. presidents George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe, as well as signers of the Declaration of Independence, Francis Lightfoot Lee and Richard Henry Lee, the Confederate Civil War general Robert E. Lee. Richard Henry Lee was elected as the sixth president under the Articles of Confederation. Residing in Westmoreland was Colonel Nicholas Spencer, member of the House of Burgesses and president of the Governor's Council, on the departure of his cousin Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper, acting governor. Robert Carter I, agent for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, was born at Corotoman Plantation and became President of the Governor's Council of the Virginia Colony, he was acting Governor of Virginia in 1726-1727 after the death in office of Governor Hugh Drysdale.
His sons John Carter married Elizabeth Hill of Shirley Plantation and Landon Carter married Maria Byrd, daughter of Col. William Byrd II and resided at Sabine Hall, his grandson Robert Carter III inherited Nonomy Hall - purchased from the aforementioned Nicholas Spencer; the Tayloe Family established their family seat Mount Airy, on the southern shore of the neck, across from Tappahannock on a high perch overlooking the Rappahannock River. John Tayloe I, John Tayloe II who built Mount Airy and after Menokin for his son-in-law Francis Lightfoot Lee, John Tayloe III who built the Octagon House and his sons John Tayloe IV, Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, William Henry Tayloe and George Plater Tayloe were all born here. Mixed vegetable and grain farming were adopted by the colonial period; the area developed a strong seafood industry. Reedville was once the wealthiest town in the United States, due to its menhaden fishing industry. Before the era of modern highways, many passenger and freight steamer routes linked the Chesapeake Bay region and connected with the railroads developed after 1830.
During the American Civil War, Northern Neck and King George County were on the frontier be
James Madison Jr. was an American statesman, diplomat and Founding Father who served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights, he co-wrote The Federalist Papers, co-founded the Democratic-Republican Party, served as the fifth United States Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809. Born into a prominent Virginia planting family, Madison served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress during and after the American Revolutionary War, he became dissatisfied with the weak national government established by the Articles of Confederation and helped organize the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new constitution to supplant the Articles of Confederation. Madison's Virginia Plan served as the basis for the Constitutional Convention's deliberations, he was one of the most influential individuals at the convention.
Madison became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, he joined with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in writing The Federalist Papers, a series of pro-ratification essays, considered to be one of the most influential works of political science in American history. After the ratification of the Constitution, Madison emerged as an important leader in the United States House of Representatives and served as a close adviser to President George Washington, he was the main force behind the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights, which enshrines guarantees of personal freedoms and rights within the Constitution. During the early 1790s, Madison came to oppose the economic program and accompanying centralization of power favored by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party, which was, alongside Hamilton's Federalist Party, one of the nation's first major political parties. After Jefferson won the 1800 presidential election, Madison served as Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809.
In that position, he supervised the Louisiana Purchase. Madison succeeded Jefferson with a victory in the 1808 presidential election. After diplomatic protests and a trade embargo failed to end British attacks against American shipping, he led the United States into the War of 1812; the war was an administrative morass and ended inconclusively, but many Americans saw it as a successful "second war of independence" against Britain. The war convinced Madison of the necessity of a stronger federal government, he presided over the creation of the Second Bank of the United States and the enactment of the protective Tariff of 1816, he retired from public office in 1817 and died in 1836. He is considered to be one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States, historians have ranked Madison as an above-average president. James Madison Jr. was born on March 16, 1751, at Belle Grove Plantation near Port Conway, Virginia, to James Madison Sr. and Nelly Conway Madison. He grew up as the oldest of twelve children, with seven brothers and four sisters, though only six of his siblings would live to adulthood.
His father was a tobacco planter who grew up on a plantation called Mount Pleasant, which he had inherited upon reaching adulthood. With numerous slaves and a 5,000 acres plantation, Madison's father was the largest landowner and a leading citizen in the Piedmont. Madison's maternal grandfather was a prominent tobacco merchant. In the early 1760s, the Madison family moved into a newly built house. From age 11 to 16, Madison was sent to study under Donald Robertson, a Scottish instructor who served as a tutor for a number of prominent planter families in the South. Madison learned mathematics and modern and classical languages—he became proficient in Latin. At age 16, Madison returned to Montpelier, where he began a two-year course of study under the Reverend Thomas Martin in preparation for college. Unlike most college-bound Virginians of his day, Madison did not attend the College of William and Mary, where the lowland Williamsburg climate - thought to be more to harbor infectious disease - might have strained his delicate health.
Instead, in 1769, he enrolled at the College of New Jersey. His studies at Princeton included Latin, Greek and the works of the Enlightenment. Great emphasis was placed on both debate. Along with another classmate, Madison undertook an intense program of study and completed Princeton's three-year bachelor of arts degree in just two years, graduating in 1771, he remained at Princeton to study Hebrew and political philosophy under President John Witherspoon before returning home to Montpelier in early 1772. His ideas on philosophy and morality were shaped by Witherspoon, who converted Madison to the philosophy and modes of thinking of the Age of Enlightenment. Biographer Terence Ball says that at Princeton: He was immersed in the liberalism of the Enlightenment, converted to eighteenth-century political radicalism. From on James Madison's theories would advance the rights of happiness of man, his most active efforts would serve devotedly the cause of civil and political liberty. After returning to Montpelier, who had not yet decided on a specific career, served as a tutor to his younger siblings.
In the early 1770s the relationship between the American colonies a
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