On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Land Grant. This made Yosemite Valley the first piece of land set aside by the US government for preservation and public use.
On June 29, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park, the first American park created to “preserve the works of man.” It’s since been called “the best cultural attraction” in the Western United States.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established on June 11, 1940, along the Kentucky-Virginia border. The park preserves and honors the “first great gateway to the West.”
On June 5, 1978, Lowell National Historical Park was founded in Massachusetts. Lowell has been called the “Cradle of the American Industrial Revolution,” for the important role it played in the rise of America’s textile industry.
On May 14, 1930, Carlsbad Caverns National Park was officially created in New Mexico. The park is home to the largest limestone chamber in North America, known as the Big Room.
On March 16, 1937, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge was established in Delaware. The refuge projects vital wetlands and salt marshes that serve as important breeding and wintering grounds for hundreds of species of waterfowl and migrating birds.
On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation creating Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the first such protective area in America. Today, the National Wildlife Refuge System contains more than 560 protected areas, covering over 150 million acres.
On February 26, 1917, Denali National Park was first established as Mount McKinley National Park. The park is home to the tallest mountain in North America.