Historic Sites News and Information
Fort McHenry 200th Anniversary
The 200th Anniversary of the bombing of Fort McHenry in Baltimore and writing of the Star-Spangled banner by Francis Scott Key from a harbor ship on the morning of the 14th occured this month with tall ships sailing up and down the river, the celebratory unveiling of the U.S. flag (replica) by visitors, and special tours of the fort from September 9 through 16.
Growth of National Park Service
The National Park Service celebrated its 98th anniversary on August 25 and looks forward to the 100th celebration in 2016, now with 401 park service units. When it began, there were 14 National Parks and 21 National Monuments. National Parks are approved by Congress while National Monuments, through the Antiquities Act, can be designated by the President. Recent additions to National Monument status include the California Coastal National Monument and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
FDR Park, in South Philadelphia near the stadium complex, once hosted the 1926 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of the USA. That same site is being considered to host the 250th anniversary of the nation. The main building still remaining on the site from the 1926 event is the Swedish American Museum.
Civil War Ship Planter Found
USS Planter, former Confederate, then Union ship likely found off the South Carolina shoreline of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. The ship ran aground in 1876. The Planter was commandeered in May 1862 by slave Robert Smalls, who piloted it from Charleston and gave the ship to the Union, taking 17 slaves to freedom.
More Preservation News
Civil War Trust saving 429 acres at Port Republic, part of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, doubling the preserved land there. The Battle of Port Republic was fought on June 9, 1862 as part of Stonewall Jackson's campaign and was the most costly and important battles of the campaign. Port Republic is located south of Harrisonburg, Virginia. More Info.
New Campaign to Save Four Battlefields
New preservation campaign to save four battlefields, 306 acres, extends from Virginia to Louisiana. These sites at Mansfield, Bentonville, Petersburg, and Appomattox all tell the story about the war as it leaped into its fourth and fifth years of 1864 and 1865, moving slowly toward a culmination and the surrender of Lee's army. Visit the Civil War Trust campaign for those sites to learn more.
Antiquities Act and Congress
On March 26, 2014, the House of Representatives in the United States Congress passed HR 1459, which would weaken the ability of the president to use the Antiquities Act to develop our National Parks in the future. This act threatens the establishment of new parks dedicated to preserving the nature and history of the nation, particularly national monuments that tell specific stories, such as the new parks on Harriet Tubman, the Buffalo Soldiers, and the state of Delaware. If you don't want this act to pass any further down the Congressional line, contact you Senator and Congressman and tell them to keep the Antiquities Act intact. The act was first established in 1906 and was the original proclamation that claimed the Grand Canyon as protected land.
Lewis and Clark History
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge contains a new plankhouse on the site of Cathlapotle, a Chinnokan town visited by Lewis and Clark on their expedition west to the Pacific Ocean. http://plankhouse.org
It would be the first national park in Chicago if the efforts there come to fruition, but the historic sites of the Pullman factory town and factory itself are already historic in their ties to industrialization and labor unions. Studies have been done to turn it into a National Historic Site and tell the stories of the men and women of Pullman with even greater emphasis. Find out more.
New Discoveries All the Time
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has recently discovered an archeological signature suggesting that the White River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas is now the best candidate for the 17th and 18th century Quapaw Indian village of Osotouy and the French Arkansas Post.
Gettysburg Address Anniversary
The 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg address is held in the cemetery with Supreme Court Justine Antonin Scalia giving the rights of citizenship to new Americans, as well as speeches by historian James McPherson and a reading of the Gettysburg Address by James Getty. This ceremony was witnessed by more than 10,000 spectators.
More Civil War Preservation News
New preservation projects at the Civil War Trust are announced in October, one which targets 608 acres of battlefield at Rappahannock Station & Chattanooga. Other land around three battles of the Richmond campaign also nearing completion. Check the Civil War Trust for more details.
Antietam Campaign Acreage to Be Saved
The Civil War Trust has announced a new campaign to save 318 acres at four sites associated with the Antietam Campaign, often cited as the impetus that allowed President Lincoln to announced the Emancipation Proclamation. Acreage will be saved at Antietam, South Mountain, Harper's Ferry, and Shepherdstown.
Steamboat Geyser Erupts at Yellowstone
For the first time in eight years, Steamboat Geyser erupted up to three hundred feet in the air. Steamboat is notoriously fickle, sometimes spewing twenty-nine times in one year, other times waiting fifty years to erupt. Check the video here. Just one of the magnificent wonders at America's first national park.
Gettysburg 150: Wow!!
There's perhaps not a better word to describe the activities of the 150th Anniversary Celebrations at Gettysburg. It's simply, .. Wow! From an opening ceremony featuring Trace Adkins to battle walks in four line style to a Pickett's Charge reenactment with about the same number of, this time, 12,500 or so men, women, and children charging across the field, sometimes at double quick. Check out Gettysburg 150 for more of our coverage and photos.
More Historic Site News and Information
Spotlight on History You May Not Know About
Indian Moundbuilders/Astronomic Wonders of the 1st Century
This Month's Spotlight
America's First Roads
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland
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America's Best History NotesAmerica's Best History and our Ellis Island page has been mentioned in an article and list on immigrant stories. Ellis Island, the processing center for many of our forefathers, contains an amazing history of how our country blossomed during the late 1900s through the mid-20th century.
Save Our Historic Sites and Vistas
From Gettysburg to San Onofre
has now passed the PA legislature,
new opportunities for the Gettysburg gambling proposal to apply for a
license. Time to redouble your
to stop any future casino effort that might come. Almost
10,000 men died and 50,000 were killed, wounded, or
missing at Gettysburg. Help retain the honor and sacrifice of
these men. It's time to promote a ban on any new casinos
10 miles of a National Military Park, which is currently being
considered at the state level. Contact your federal
congressman or Senator and ask them to
propose such a ban.
Although the current economic climate has slowed some of the troubles in preserving historic sites and lands with slower development growth, the problem of preservation funding is now in the fore even more. If you want to get involved, contact the various organizations in your local community to see where you can help. National organizations such as the Civil War Preservation Trust and the National Parks Conservations Organization are always in need of assistance.