Region III Quarterly

Volume 2 - No. 1

January, 1940


Horace M. Albright was a mere youth when he first saw those oldest of living things, the Big Trees, in his native California. He has been an active conservationist ever since.

Mr. Albright went to Washington, D. C., shortly after receiving his Bachelor of Letters degree from the University of California, in 1912. He was a member of Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane's staff from 1913-1915, and attended night classes to get an L.L.B. from Georgetown University, in 1914. He became Assistant Director of the National Park Service when that agency was established in 1917. Two years later he was sent to Yellowstone National Park as the first civilian superintendent, after the park had been transferred from the War Department's jurisdiction. While in the Yellowstone he served in the dual capacity of Field Assistant to the Director. He became Director of the Service in January, 1929, following the retirement of Stephen T. Mather, and continued to head the Service until August, 1933, when he resigned to become Vice President and General Manager of the United States Potash Company. He still serves in the latter position, with headquarters in New York City.

A conservationist of the Theodore Roosevelt school, Mr. Albright, throughout his adult life, has been in the front ranks of preservationist campaigns. Never passive in his support of all things aimed at keeping natural areas intact, he has been, and is today, a national leader in preaching the gospel of husbanding our natural resources. Much of this country's wilderness that still stands unspoiled is so because of him. The American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, in 1933, awarded him the Pugsley gold medal.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan for organization of the Civilian Conservation Corps was approved by the Congress in March, 1933, Mr. Albright, as Director of the National Park Service, was called upon to formulate a nationwide program under which thousands of these youths could be started immediately on extensive conservation and developmenet work in parks and other recreational areas. It was a tremendous task, encompassing not only national parks but state parks, county parks, and metropolitan parks. The program was ready, even before the CCC enrollment got under way. The business world, at this time, again beckoned Mr. Albright but not until after the National Park Service part of the CCC machine was functioning smoothly in all departments did he retire from the government service.

Though now engaged mainly in commercial activities, Mr. Albright, as President of the American Planning and Civic Association, and through close contact with National Park Service and other conservation work, continues unselfishly to serve the public.

Horace M. Albright
He was Director of the National Park Service from 1929 to 1933.

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Date: 17-Nov-2005