August 25

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One Hundred Years of the National Park Service

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created in the Department of the Interior a service to be called the National Park Service…The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks, monuments, and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and 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.”

An Act of August 25, 1916, Public Law 64-235, (39 STAT 535) to Establish a National Park Service, and for Other Purposes, 8/25/1916

File Unit: Laws of the United States, 1915-16, 64th Congress, 1st Session, Part 3, Public Acts 163-241, 1789 - 2011Series: Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789 - 2011Record Group 11: General Records of the United States Government, 1778 - 2006

Yellowstone. The Grand Canyon. Yosemite. For many Americans, the mere mention of these sites conjures up images of grandeur and magnificence.

The Tetons - Snake River,” Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming., 1933 - 1942, from the series Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, 1941 - 1942

As the conservator of the United States’ most storied and important landmarks, the National Park Service is charged with the preservation and operation of each of the nation’s 59 national parks, as well as hundreds of protected shorelines, preserves, and historical landmarks.

This summer, the National Archives will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service by displaying the document that founded the NPS, the Organic Act of 1916.

Though the first national park had been established at Yellowstone on March 1, 1872, it and subsequently designated national parks were only loosely managed under the Department of the Interior.

By establishing a National Park Service, the Federal Government ensured the efficient and responsible conservation of national landmarks for future generations.

The passage of the Organic Act was the result of a collaborative effort between businessmen, government officials, and private citizens, who together  had advocated for the establishment of a National Park Service for decades.

President Wilson signed the bill on August 25, 1916, and the National Park Service was born.

The Organic Act provided for the appointment of a full-time Director of the National Park Service as well as a support staff to manage the parks from Washington, D.C. These employees were to be paid out of a pool of funds appropriated by Congress. Additionally, the Parks Director was tasked with organizing the system of local officials and park rangers that operated each site.

Today the National Park Service employs over 22,000 full time employees as well as 221,000 volunteers across more than 400 park areas. Each year, the National Park Service enables more than 275 million visitors to experience the beauty and wonder of America’s protected landmarks.

The National Archives will be displaying the Organic Act of 1916 in the East Rotunda Gallery from June 30 through August 31, 2016. Plan your visit and see the origins of the National Park Service for yourself!

Originally posted by todaysdocument

(Dogs at Yosemite National Park,  excerpted from the film “Yosemite Valley“)

Keep reading at On Exhibit: One Hundred Years of the National Park Service | Prologue: Pieces of History

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Rare color scenes from the Liberation of Paris, August 25, 1944, including an intact Eiffel Tower flying the French Tricolour, General Charles De Gaulle marching down the Champs Elysees, and Allied troops marching in front of the Arc de Triomphe.

Excerpted from: D-Day to Germany, 1944

From the series: Motion Picture Films Relating to the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) and Commemorative Visits After the War, compiled 1944 - 1969Collection LIEB: Jack Lieb Collection, 1944 - 1969

Taken by newsreel cameraman Jack Lieb, this color home movie was donated by the Lieb family to the National Archives in 1984. You’ll see World War II from a perspective different than the official military film or commercial newsreel. With his personal footage, Lieb takes the viewer through the preparations in England, where he spent time with war correspondents Ernie PyleJack Thompson, and Larry LaSueur, to the liberation of Paris and finally into Germany. Along the way, Lieb captured his experience on 16mm Kodachrome, filming everyday people in France and the occasional celebrity, such as Edward G. Robinson or Ernest Hemingway

Via The Unwritten Record » A Newsreel Cameraman’s View of D-Day

August 25, 1921: FDR is Diagnosed with Polio

On this day in 1921, Dr. Robert Lovett diagnosed 39-year-old Franklin Roosevelt with infantile paralysis, more commonly known as polio. The diagnosis came a few weeks after a fall into icy waters that left him unable to feel parts of his body and hold his own weight.

Although there was no cure for polio at the time, FDR participated in rehabilitation classes and swimming exercises to regain his strength before re-entering politics.

Learn about FDR’s recovery process with this preview clip from Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts.

Photo: President Roosevelt in his wheelchair on the porch at Top Cottage in Hyde Park, NY with his dog, Fala, and Ruthie Bie, granddaughter of the cottage’s caretaker. February 1941. Wikimedia Commons.

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The Liberation of Paris

After an uprising by the French Resistance and days of street fighting, Paris is liberated as German occupiers surrender to Allied forces seventy years ago on August 25, 1944.

Excerpted from:
PROGRESS IN SOUTHERN FRANCE (ST. RAPHAEL) [ETC.], 1944

From the series: Motion Picture Films from the “Combat Bulletin” Program Series, 1944 - 1951