National Parks

1934 1¢ National Parks: Yosemite, California
June 30, 1864

Yosemite Land Grant 

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.

Read Article
1934 4¢ National Parks: Mesa Verde, Colorado
June 29, 1906

Mesa Verde National Park

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.

Read Article
1974 10¢ First Kentucky Settlement
June 11, 1940

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

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.”

Read Article
1987 22¢ Bicentenary Statehood: Massachusetts
June 5, 1978

Lowell National Historical Park

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.

Read Article
2016 47¢ National Parks Centennial Carlsbad Caverns Stamp
May 14, 1930

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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.

Read Article
1966 5¢ Migratory Bird Treaty
March 16, 1937

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

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.

Read Article
2003 37¢ Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
March 14, 1903

Establishment of First U.S. Wildlife Refuge 

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.

Read Article
1972 15¢ National Parks Centennial: Mount McKinley, Alaska
February 26, 1917

Denali National Park and Preserve

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.

Read Article
1990 25¢ Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stamp
January 12, 1953

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

On January 12, 1953, Cape Hatteras became America’s first national seashore. Stretched over 70 miles of barrier islands, this seashore is a fascinating combination of natural and cultural resources.

Read Article

Love history?

Discover events in American history – plus the stamps that make them come alive.

Subscribe to get This Day in History stories straight to your inbox every day!