Did you know that the designer of our current flag was a 17-year-old Boy Scout named Robert Heft? What grade do you think he received for this look? A grade of B-minus. His Ohio teacher said the design was unoriginal, but offered to raise it to an A if the design was accepted nationally. So, the boy wrote to his congressman and the rest is history. And yes, he ended up with an A.
Take a moment and honor the famous Stars and Stripes today. 🇺🇸
Happy National Trails Day today! Today kicks off the Great Outdoors Month of June!
Did you know that there are over 18,000 miles of trails in the national park system? And did you know that there are 158,000 miles of trails in national forests and grasslands? So, we have lots of trails to explore in the United States!
Enjoy this day and month and find a trail to enjoy! Happy National Trails Day!
“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”
Mothers exist all over children’s literature as well as quotes about them. Enjoy this one particular quote above from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Happy International Women’s Day! Today celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women across the globe. I wanted highlight here a couple of the many women who have impacted our national park service.
Clare Marie Hodges served as the first female park ranger in the national park service. She worked as a teacher at the Yosemite Valley School and grew up visiting Yosemite National Park. As World War I began, men were sent to serve and Yosemite needed park rangers. Clare applied to become a ranger in 1918 and wrote, “Probably, you’ll laugh at me. But, I want to be a ranger.” Park Superintendent Washington B. Lewis wrote back, “I beat you to it, young lady. It’s been on my mind for some time to put a woman on one of these patrols.”
Fran Mainella worked as the first female director of the national park service. President George W. Bush nominated her to this role in 2001 and the Senate confirmed. She worked in this job until 2006. Her first job in parks and recreation was as a playground counselor in Connecticut back in 1965. She built her career around the parks and led the Florida State Parks before becoming the director of the national park service. From the start of her directorship, she stated “Our nation’s parks tell the story of America and the history of this country. National parks represent the soul of America and a gift to the world. They are places of great history, beautiful landscapes, protected ecosystems and endangered species.”
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, thank you to all the women who have played a role in our national park system, continue to do so today, and those coming in the future.
“I believe that life should be lived so vividly and so intensely that thoughts of another life, or of a longer life, are not necessary.” ― Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Today’s post will highlight five national parks that honor black history during this month of Black History Month. Click on the links below to learn more about these important sites within our national park system and history.
Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site – This national historic site was the home to the “Father of Black History” located in Washington DC. Dr. Carter G. Woodson lived here from 1922 until his death in 1950. Before Dr. Woodson, very little accurate was written about the history about the lives and experiences of Americans of African descent. According to NPS, Dr. Woodson established Negro History Week here in 1926, which we celebrate today as Black History Month.
Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument – This national monument in Mississippi is one of the newer national park sites. Their home commemorates the legacies of two civil rights activists who devoted their lives to ending racial injustice against Black Americans through local and national activism. According to NPS, the assassination of Medgar Evers in 1963 for his efforts to promote racial equality and social justice was one of the key catalysts for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park – Located in Maryland, this national park honors Harriet Tubman’s bravery and leadership saving and guiding nearly 70 enslaved people to freedom. “When I found that I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything.”~ Harriet Tubman
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site – This national site in Virginia honors Maggie Lena Walker who devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress.
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument – Located in Ohio, this national monument honors the legendary all-Black U.S. Army units and their leader, Charles Young. Col. Young was a distinguished officer in the U.S. Army, the third African American to graduate from West Point, and the first to achieve the rank of colonel. In addition, he was the first African American to serve as a superintendent of a national park. Buffalo Soldiers were pretty much the first park rangers.
These are just a few national park sites honoring African Americans in the national park system. Check out these cool and important places!