j horace mcfarland

August 25, 1916 - US Government Creates the National Park Service

Pictured - This poster is one of a series created in the 30s and 40s to advertise the National Parks.

One of America’s finest institutions was born on August 25 as President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Organic Act, mandating a new governmental  organization, the National Park Service, “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife 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.”

Numerous national parks and monuments already existed in the United States, managed by the Department of the Interior or by wealthy conservationists, but no single unified agency.  Several, including Stephen Mather, J. Horace McFarland, and Teddy Roosevelt, had championed the campaign by penning articles the educations, ecological, and recreational benefits that would be created; McFarland became the NPS’s first director, working pro bono with a nominal salary of $1.