Morale, Welfare and Recreation in WWII National Parks

Wartime rationing of gasoline and rubber, travel restrictions, and an exodus of men to the war effort collapsed wartime visitation to national parks.  In 1941, over 19 million people visited national parks.  By 1944, that number had dropped to 7 million.  Post-war reports estimated that military personnel accounted for 1/2 to 1/3 of all park visitors during the war. As division after division found rest and healing in national parks, a generation of park lovers was born.

In wartime, the best function of these areas is to prove a place to which members of the armed forces and civilians may retire to restore shattered nerves and to recuperate physically and mentally for the war tasks still ahead of them.
Wartime NPS Director, Newton Drury

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Denali National Park & Preserve, Grand Canyon National Park, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Hot Springs National Park, Katmai National Park & Preserve, Mammoth Cave National Park, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks more »

Last updated: November 9, 2017