Cultures at a Crossroads: An Administrative History
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Mission 66 was a service-wide, 10-year conservation program initiated by the National Park Service in 1956. In the words of Director Conrad L. Wirth, "Its whole purpose was to make possible the best and wisest use of America's scenic and historic heritage." [1648] Accomplishment of the program required a great deal of new development and construction, but this activity was seen as the necessary means to achieve conservation objectives. Approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Congress, the program was launched with an increase of $19,153,700 in the Park Service's appropriation for the 1957 fiscal year. In response to increasing demands of the motor touring public, parks across the country endeavored to improve their physical plants, roads, campgrounds, and visitor services. Mission 66 made funds available for new developments at Pipe Spring National Monument, some of which had been needed and planned since the 1930s. While the national program formally lasted until 1966, most of its impacts on Pipe Spring were experienced between 1957 and 1961. During Mission 66, a modern comfort station was erected (1956-1957); the monument's first permanent residences were built (1959); new walkways were constructed and old ones repaired (1959-1960); a new parking area and service roads were built (1960); restoration work on the fort and rehabilitation work on the cabins was carried out (1959-1961); and the museum displays in the fort and two cabins were greatly improved (early 1960s). Two other significant advances at the monument during this period were the hiring of a seasonal park historian in 1956 (replaced by a permanent park historian in 1958 and his successor in 1960) and the long-awaited arrival of commercial power to the area in 1960.

Overshadowing all other events in the region and of significant impact to the monument's development was the construction of one of the world's highest dams at Glen Canyon. The building of the dam was authorized on April 11, 1956. While the prime contract was awarded in April 1957, related construction projects began during the fall of 1956. The most important of these was the construction of the Glen Canyon Bridge, built between February 1957 and August 1958. (Prior to the construction of the bridge, people in Utah had to drive all the way around to Lee's Ferry and cross over the Navajo Bridge in order to get to Page, Arizona, a trip of 200 miles.) The first bucket of concrete was poured for the dam on June 17, 1960; the final bucket on September 13, 1963. [1649] The dam's construction finally brought about improvement to area roads, including to the long-neglected Hurricane-Fredonia route.

This chapter chronicles events from 1956 through December 1963, to include the retirement of Acting Superintendent Leonard Heaton and the transition to Management Assistant Hugh H. Bozarth.

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006