“Protecting” Yosemite 150 Years Ago: Re-Examining the Origins of “America’s Best Idea”

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3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

This event is part of the 2014 annual meeting of the National Council on Public History. Registration is required.
More info at: http://ncph.org/cms/conferences/2014-annual-meeting/

On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln granted the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove to California for inalienable “public use, resort and enjoyment.” Lincoln’s action has long been identified as the origins of the venerable California State, and National Park systems. This session will examine some recent historical works on the context, roles, and motivations of Lincoln and several of the less well-remembered, but influential “gentlemen of California,” who promoted, inspired and lobbied for governmental protection of this national treasure.

Facilitator: Jeff Pappas, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

Panelists: Jen Huntley, author, Making of Yosemite: James Mason Hutchings and the Origin of America’s Most Popular National Park
Glenna Matthews, Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley
James Newland, California State Parks
Alfred Runte, Environmental Historian