The Homestead Act remained in effect until it was repealed in 1976, with provisions for homesteading in Alaska until 1986. Alaska was one of the last places in the country where homesteading remained a viable option into the latter part of the 1900s. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 substantially decreased the amount of land available to homesteaders in the West. Because much of the prime land had been homesteaded decades earlier, successful Homestead claims dropped sharply after this time.
Go here for chart showing number of scuccessful homesteaders by decade and here to see the five year period when the most land was transferred from the Public Domain to ownership by homesteaders.
The Homestead Act of 1862 is recognized as one of the most revolutionary concepts for distributing public land in American history. Repercussions of this monumental piece of legislation can be detected throughout America today, decades after the cry of "Free Land!" has faded away.
On March 16, 1936 Congress passed Public Law 480 of the 74th Congress created a new unit in the National Park System on the site of the Daniel Freeman homestead. On March 19, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the law and Homestead National Monument of America "as an appropriate monument to retain for posterity a proper memorial emblematical of the hardships and the pioneer life through which the early settlers passed in the settlement, cultivation and civilization of the Great West."
Go here to learn more about the creation of Homestead National Monument of America.
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