The Bugler

Bugler Newsletter

Happy Birthday to the National Park Service

Grand Teton Range, Wyoming. Photo by Hans Stieglitz.

For the last year the National Park Service has been celebrating its centennial year and it will end with a bang on its official 100th birthday on Thursday, August 25th. The advertisements and excitement generated by the park service has been amazing and a record number of visitors, over 307 million, visited in 2015. This record will be exceeded in 2016. Check out locations near you by visiting the National Park Service website. Many will be celebrating with birthday cakes so check out one near you!

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act on August 25, 1916, which created the National Park Service. By 1916 there were already 14 National Parks. Yellowstone was the first National Park and was created in 1872, thanks in large part to the works of photographer William Henry Jackson, whose photos of the beauty of Yellowstone adorned parlors on the East Coast and all over Europe. Fellow artist, Thomas Moran's fabulous painting, "The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone," also pushed people to back President Ulysses S. Grant in establishing this area as one that had to be protected. Sierra Club member, John Muir, would use his photography of Yosemite to encourage protection of this park. Although it is romantic to think the parks were established to protect nature, this only became true when a reservoir was built in the Yosemite Valley. Sierra Club member John Muir had campaigned to stop the city of San Francisco from building a dam and creating a reservoir in Yosemite. His efforts failed but people realized that development would always win if protection was not demanded.

When one thinks of the National Park Service, many think of the most obvious National Parks like the Grand Canyon or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has the most visitors of any park. But, it is amazing how many places are under the management of the National Park Service including the large battlefields at Antietam and Gettysburg, National Historical Parks like Appomattox Court House, the Morristown National Historical Park near us in New Jersey, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Statue of Liberty.

Another individual important in establishing the importance of conservation was the artist George Caitlin, whose paintings of the American West and Native Americans encouraged people to protect nature. The first director of the National Parks, Stephen Mather, said it best, "A visit inspires love of county; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness."

To learn more about the National Parks, visit this site.

Reader Photos

In Glendale's 2016-2017 catalog that was mailed in early August, we asked readers to send us photographs that we want to share with our readers. Thank you to Douglas King of the Rochester New York Fire Department for these great photos. If you have photos of your Honor Guard or Drill Team that you would like to share, please email them to

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