NPS Birthday

Shoulder of uniformed park employee showing NPS arrowhead and badge

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation establishing the National Park Service. At the same time, women across the country were fighting to guarantee their right to vote throughout the United States, a right that would finally be recognized when the 19th Amendment became part of the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, the day after the fourth birthday of the National Park Service.

Now, as we celebrate the 104th birthday of the National Park Service, we are also recognizing the centennial of the amendment that strengthened the public position of women in American civic life, empowering them to be stronger advocates for the places that became part of the National Park System over the next 100 years.

From nature’s wonders in the Florida Everglades, to the Washington, DC, home where abolitionist and suffragist Frederick Douglass did some of his famous work and the California landscape where Japanese American families were incarcerated during World War II, many of America’s important places are protected because women used their civic voices in their communities and nationwide.

Visitor looking at busts and paintings of suffragists

Looking Beyond the 19th Amendment

The 19th Amendment was a milestone in women’s equality and cultural change, but there was much more work to be done.

Ranger looking at a lake

Women in the National Park Service

Women have shaped the National Park Service since its early days, but opportunities have come a long way since 1916.

Visiting Parks and Finding Events

Celebrate the National Park Service's birthday as entrance fees are waived on August 25! Find a park near you or explore in-park and virtual events hosted by parks across the country. Get tips to recreate responsibly while visiting parks to keep everyone safe and protect America's treasures for future generations to also experience.

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