The exact "promise of America" is something that each American defines for themselves. While our nation is richly diverse in countless ways, there is a common thread: an aspiration to create something greater for ourselves and each other.
As a new nation was formed in 1776, it was grounded on ideals such as freedom, liberty, equality, and the encouragement to speak up for individual rights.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The Declaration of Independence, 1776
Many were left out of that vision at the time and in the centuries that followed. But the revolutionary spirit of the founding ideals has beckoned generations of Americans who fought to ensure that we are all included in its promise.
This month, join us as we explore the founding ideals of our democracy and how generations of Americans have endeavored to shape the our nation around the promise—the aspirational spirit—of those concepts.
Explore these stories at national parks across the country and share your own on social media using #AmericanAspiration and #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque.
There are more than 400 national parks stretching from Maine to Guam, and NPS community-based programs and partnerships reach communities everywhere in between. Find stories that explore the promise of America through conversations about identity, heritage, perspectives, and different ways to fight for that promise to be achieved by all Americans.
On Wednesday, July 21 at 4 pm to 5 pm EDT, join the National Park Service and The Corps Network for a intergenerational conversation around career opportunities in historic preservation. "Passing the Hammer: An Intergenerational Conversation About Career Opportunities in Historic Preservation" will be a virtual panel discussion. Find more information about this event, including how to register.
"Twenty & Odd"
Reflect on 400 years of African American experience through the lens of our nation's iconic places in this short film.
"We are AANHPI"
Don't blink as National Park Service staff share power of the presence, contributions, endurance, and resiliency of AANHPI communities.
Proud of Our Past, Embracing Our Future
National Park Service employees share their rich Hispanic and Latino cultural heritage and history.
A Conversation of a Continuing Heritage
Follow an intern for a conversation about carrying on the tradition of Latino conservationists as he starts his own journey.
"Dear Future Girl Conservationist"
A community of National Park Service women in many fields of science give encouragement to the next generation of conservationists.
"The Agitators" Podcast Series
This podcast series tells of the enduring but complex friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass as they fought for civil rights.
Ballot Box Blocked
A new six-part podcast series is launching to take a deeper look at the challenges many faced be able to vote.
Early American Stories in Stone
Explore a 23-mile stretch of the Susquehanna National Heritage Area to learn about petroglyphs in a podcast.
A Pueblo Perspective of Mesa Top
A park ranger takes you on a tour of Mesa Verde NP's Top Loop Drive from her perspective as a descendant of those who lived there.
A podcast series discusses topics and the community identity throughout the history of the town of Lowell, Massachusetts.
Tallgrass Prairie Podcasts
Examine the the natural and cultural heritage and identity of the tall grass prairies of the West.
Start your journey to explore the promise of America by visiting national parks or places in your community that are part of the story.
Plan Like a Park Ranger in 2021
Visiting a national park this summer? Park rangers are sharing their top 10 lists of insider tips to plan ahead for a fun, safe adventure.
The NPS App
One app, every park at your fingertips. Experience and explore national parks using a new app for mobile devices.
National Register of Historic Places
Learn your local history through more than 95,000 places officially recognized for their historical significance.
National Historic Landmarks
Visit places throughout the country that shaped our nation's history now recognized as national historic landmarks.
National Natural Landmarks
Explore national landmarks that are recognized for their unique biological and geological character.
For KidsExplore educational materials to help teach about concepts related to the promise of America. Find even more educational resources in the Educators Portal.
Last updated: July 16, 2021