Herbert Hoover's National Parks
During Herbert Hoover's presidency from 1929 to 1933, the size of our national forests expanded by more than two million acres, and the land designated for new national parks and monuments increased by 40 percent. Hoover's administration added and expanded numerous national parks. It also carried on work to develop national parks that were completed later, like Mammoth Cave, Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah, and Everglades.
National Parks Established by President Herbert Hoover
The National Parks established by the Hoover administration are:
In 1932 President Hoover transferred Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, into the national park system from the Agriculture Department.
Two parks are in some sources erroneously attributed to the Hoover administration: Badlands National Monument (renamed Badlands National Park in 1978) and Cowpens National Battlefield Site (redesignated Cowpens National Battlefield in 1972). Both were authorized or established on Hoover's inauguration date, March 4, 1929, but by Calvin Coolidge during his final hours in office.
National Parks Enlarged By President Herbert Hoover
By proclamation or executive order, President Hoover added to the lands of the following national parks:
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Aside from his official actions, Herbert Hoover made a personal contribution to a national park. Every president needs a place to escape from the cares and burdens of office. For the Hoovers that place was Camp Rapidan, a rustic fishing camp located one hundred miles from Washington in Virginia's scenic Blue Ridge Mountain range and built with $120,000 of the president's own money. Those who visited the camp saw a very different man from the harried executive whose days were blighted by economic crisis. At Rapidan, Hoover could discard the formal gear of Washington for white flannels and a Panama hat. He pitched horseshoes with Charles Lindbergh and, sitting on a log with a British Prime Minister, made plans for a world disarmament conference to be held in London in 1930.
The Hoovers donated their mountain retreat to become part of the new Shenandoah National Park after he left the White House in 1933.
After Herbert Hoover's Presidency
In his post-presidential years, Hoover devoted much time and energy to his legacy and defending his record as president. In 1938, President Hoover and his wife purchased the house where he was born in 1874. His local supporters restored the home and, under the guidance of the president and his family, developed a park around it. The park commemorates Herbert Hoover and his rise from simple beginnings to the presidency of the United States. It became a national park— Herbert Hoover National Historic Site— in 1965, one year after the president's death.
After his presidency, Hoover influenced the protection of Grand Teton and Dinosaur national parks.
Did You Know?
Herbert Hoover's birthplace was a tourist attraction as early as 1928. Jennie Scellers, the house's owner, charged 10 cents for tours and set up a souvenir stand on her lawn. More...