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Western Pennsylvania Virtual Junior Ranger

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When you complete the program on this page, you can download your Virtual Junior Ranger badge.

NPS Photo

We are glad you are interested in becoming a Virtual Junior Ranger. You will have an opportunity to learn about the five National Park Service sites in western Pennsylvania:

  • Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
  • Flight 93 National Memorial
  • Fort Necessity National Battlefield
  • Friendship Hill National Historic Site
  • Johnstown Flood National Memorial

All these parks feature everyday heroes who solved problems and helped shape our history.

There are two questions for each of the five parks plus a final question. You can find the answers by using our websites and the hints below the questions. Please answer as many as you can, however, everyone should answer the last question. When you are done you will have earned your Virtual Junior Ranger badge.

To find the answer to each question, slide your cursor over the question and the answer will be revealed.

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
John Roebling Question 1 - Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS
Move the slider to the right to reveal the answer. (Portrait of John Roebling, public domain)
What invention by John Roebling made the Allegheny Portage Railroad safer?
Prior to the Allegheny Portage Railroad and Pennsylvania Main Line Canal it took almost 3 weeks to travel from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. With this new transportation system, it took about 5 to 7 days. The Allegheny Portage Railroad used a series of 10 inclined planes with an engine house structure at the top. Inside each engine house was a stationary steam engine that was the power for pulling people and goods up and over the Allegheny Mountains.  The train cars were hooked up to a hemp rope that would raise and lower them on the inclines. Often times, the hemp ropes would break on the inclines causing damage and death. John Roebling’s invention was more durable and lasted longer than the hemp rope. 

Look here for a hint.
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
Question 2- Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS Man in historic costume standing behind table with various tools.
What type of trades did men perform in order to build the Allegheny Portage Railroad?
Move slider to the left to reveal the answer. (NPS)

In the early 1830s when the Allegheny Portage Railroad was being built, railroads were in their infancy in the United States. Engineers were sent to England to study how they built theirs. There were many different types of jobs needed to built this unique transportation system. These tasks included shaping logs for the rails and making stone sleepers.   

 You will find a hint here .

Flight 93 National Memorial
Exhibit showing location of phone calls made from the plane Question 1 - Flight 93 NHS
Move slider to the right to reveal the answer. (NPS)
How many calls were made on Flight 93 during the hijacking?

After the hijackers took control of the cockpit, the passengers and remaining crew were pushed to the back of the plane. There they were able to make calls to various family members and authorities from the plane Airfones located on the back of the seats. We know this from the credit card records and first hand accounts. These calls give us a timeline, the callers' positions, and more information on what took place on the plane during the hijacking. Out of all the calls only four calls were recorded on answering machines.

Find a hint in this document.

Flight 93 National Memorial
Question 2 - Flight 93 Fire engine and first responders a wood's edge
How many different agencies took part in the investigation and recovery of Flight 93?
Move slider to the left to reveal the answer.

During the recovery and investigation of the crash, there were many different federal, state, and local agencies who were credentialed to work at the site. For the first 13 days of the investigation, the FBI served as the lead agency. Many other organizations including the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Pennsylvania State Police, and local fire departments supported the investigation. In addition to these agencies, many people from neighboring counties supported these responders by providing meals and other donated resources.

For a hint, read the “What Happened During the Investigation” section.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield
George Washington and soldiers on Fort Necessity battlefield Question 1 - Fort Necessity NB
Move slider to the right to reveal the answer. (A Charming Field for an Encounter by Robert Griffing)
What event that no one could control occurred on the day of the battle?
George Washington had some unlucky breaks when he was at Fort Necessity. He wanted to be second in charge and learn from his commander, but his commander died, and he was put in charge. Then on the day of the battle something occurred that made it hard for his men to fight. It helped make the situation so bad that in the evening Washington surrendered his army.

Washington showed many good qualities that day. He showed loyalty to his country and compassion for his soldiers.

For a hint click here.
 
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Question 2- Fort Necessity NB Men fighting with muskets in the wood
What did George Washington do the year after he surrendered at Fort Necessity?
Move slider to the left to reveal the answer. (Library of Congress)

On July 3, 1754 Washington surrendered his army to the French.  When professionals translated the surrender document from French to English, he found he had admitted to assassinating a French commander.  An assassination is basically a murder done for political reasons.  This was a lot of bad news for Washington.  

But he didn’t give up.  He also learned from his mistakes.  He was becoming a good leader and got experiences that would help make him a great man.  

Look at this page for a hint.

Friendship Hill National Historic Site
Question 1- Friendship Hill NHS Washington leading an army with mounted officers and ranks of soldiers while citizens look on
Why was it hard to be a moderate during the Whiskey Rebellion?
Move slider to the left to reveal the answer. (Metropolitan Museum, Washington Reviewing the Western Army at Fort Cumberland, Maryland)

Poor farmers thought the new federal tax was very unfair and decided not to pay it.  Sometimes they even attached the tax collector.  The federal government wanted people to obey the law and pay the tax.  Albert Gallatin was a moderate who understood both sides of the disagreement and sought a peaceful solution.  

Gallatin showed he was a good man, who did the right thing.  He didn’t change sides when things were rough and fought for what he thought was right. 

For a hint to the answer read the section about moderates on this website

Friendship Hill National Historic Site
Statue of Albert Gallatin in front of the U.S. Treasury Building Question 2 - Friendship Hill NHS
Move slider to the right to reveal the answer. (Statue of Albert Gallatin, public domain)
As Secretary of the Treasury what big purchase did Gallatin finance?

Gallatin was the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States from 1801 -1814.  He was in charge of all the government income and spending.  Gallatin believed in a balance federal budget, meaning the government collected the same amount of money it spent.  However, he decided it was good for the federal government go into debt to make this purchase.  He believed if would help the United States and was worth the price.  This purchase doubled the size of the United States.  

Gallatin was very logical.  Even though he didn’t like going into debt, he saw the benefits of the purchase.  Many people today would agree that he did the right thing.  

Read this page to find a hint to the answer.

Johnstown Flood National Historic Site
Why did William Pickerill decide to send the telegraph message on to Johnstown when its credibility was unknown? Portrait of William Pickerill
Why did William Pickerill decide to send the telegraph message on to Johnstown when its credibility was unknown?
Move slider to the left to reveal the answer.
William Pickerill was a telegraph operator in the Conemaugh Valley on May 31, 1889. This valley would be devastated by the Johnstown Flood that day. Three telegraph messages were sent to Johnstown to warn the people living in the Conemaugh Valley about the dangerous condition of the South Fork Dam. The first message that came to Emma Ehrenfeld was from a man who people didn’t have much confidence in. She didn’t want to send a false message down the valley, so she got in contact with Pickerill to see what he thought. 

Look here for a hint. 
Johnstown Flood National Historic Site
Portrait of Clara Barton Question 2 - Johnstown Flood NMEM
Move slider to the right to reveal the answer. (Portrait of Clara Barton, Library of Congress)
How many months did Clara Barton spend in Johnstown to assist after the flood with American Red Cross?
Clara Barton was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her heroic work during the Civil War. Her important work in nursing and caring for others continued long after the war ended. The Johnstown Flood was the first big undertaking for the American chapter of the Red Cross, which she founded. She stayed in Johnstown until she felt there was nothing more she could do to help.   

Find a hint on this website
Western Pennsylvania National Park Sites
Collage of volunteers and rangers doing work in parks Final question -WEPA
Everyday people work everyday to preserve YOUR NATIONAL PARKS! NPS Photos
Who is your everyday Hero?

We all have everyday heroes.  They are people who help, or teach, or inspire us. 

At the five national park sites of western Pennsylvania, our staff and volunteers are the heroes who work hard every day to keep the parks safe and clean, to teach the visitors and to preserve the nature and history.

Congratulations on completing the Virtual Junior Ranger

Nice work! It is time to say the Junior Ranger pledge and collect your badge and your virtual passport stamp.

You can read the pledge as you watch the video of the rangers swearing you in.


Junior Ranger Pledge

  • I am proud to be a National Park Service Virtual Junior Ranger of the National Park sites in western Pennsylvania.
  • I promise to appreciate, respect, and protect all national parks.
  • I also promise to continue learning about the heroes of these special places and their stories.
  • I will share what I learn with my friends and family.

Open Transcript

Transcript

Congratulations on completing your Virtual Junior Ranger of the western Pennsylvania national parks. That includes: Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Johnstown Flood National Memorial, Flight 93 National Memorial, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and Friendship Hill National Historic Site. Now it's time to raise your right-hand and complete your junior ranger pledge.

I am proud to be a National Park Service Virtual Junior Ranger of the national park sites in western Pennsylvania. I promise to appreciate, respect, and protect all national parks. I also promised to continue learning about the heroes of these special places and their stories. I will share what I learn with my friends and family.

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Duration:
1 minute, 7 seconds

Park Rangers introduce and say the Virtual Junior Ranger pledge of the western Pennsylvania National Park Sites.

Last updated: April 19, 2021