Throwback Thursday

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Black and white photo of a person sitting overlooking a valley Person sitting overlooking a valley
Taken at Millers Head in Shenandoah National Park in 1941 by Robert Batey Moore
Taken at Millers Head in Shenandoah National Park in 2016 by Jason Cave

Throwback Thursday happens in April during National Park Week, a nine-day celebration of the enjoyment and preservation of the nation's natural and cultural heritage. But you are encouraged to explore history in parks and your neighborhood any day of the year.

History happened and memories are made in national parks. Explore the history preserved in national parks while also learning about the ongoing efforts of the National Park Service and partners to preserve America's cultural treasures in communities across the country. Maybe even share the history of your family and friends visiting national parks. 

Here are a few ideas of how you can "throw back." Share your experiences and discoveries on social media using the hashtags #NationalParkWeek, #FindYourVirtualPark, #ThrowbackThursday, and #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque.

  1. Make a Virtual Visit. Find history in more than 400 national parks across the country on their websites and social media channels. Kids can even earn an online Junior Ranger badge while learning about the past!
  2. Then & Now. Share a throwback picture of you or your family and friends visiting a national park in the past. Maybe even recreate the magic of the same image today putting them side by side, using recommended safety guidance for social distancing or from home. 
  3. Relive the Magic. Take a virtual walk down memory lane and share the stories of your favorite park memories. Whether taking a hike to a memorable spot, following a vacation route you made as a kid, or visiting a special place in history that made a mark on you, share an experience in a park that stood out in your memory. Maybe even duplicate it using park websites and social media channels.
  4. Understanding the Past and Celebrating the Present. Step back into the past to learn the histories of who we are as a diverse nation and the heritage shared in parks and communities today. Explore American Indian Heritage, African American Heritage, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, European American Heritage, and Women's History.
  5. Connect with Your Neighborhood. Explore historic places in your neighborhood that are on the National Register of Historic Places or are a National Historic Landmark
  6. Take Action. Learn how you can get involved in preserving historic places in your community.
  7. Preservation in Action. Meet the preservation rangers of the National Park Service and learn more about their projects in national parks and communities across the country.
  8. Teach the Next Generation. Check out lesson plans that help kids learn about special historic places in their neighborhoods.Teaching with Historic Places.

Then & Now Galleries

Illustration of prehistoric creatures next to a photo of a desert landscape

Cenozoic Fossil Parks

Compare landscapes and life in parks with what it once was according to the geology and fossil records

Black and white photo of geologic desert features compared with a modern photo

Arches National Park

The red-rock arches and pinnacles of the park continue to draw visitors from around the world as they did decades ago.

Hand holding up a historic image of a building over top the current building

Gettysburg National Military Park

See the battlefield through a modern lens compared with famous historic post-battle photographs.

Color photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge area compared with a historical image

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The "Ghost of the Golden Gate" online exhibit reveals the hidden history of familiar locations in San Francisco.

Modern color photo of a one-story building next to a historic black and white building

Tumacacori National Historical Park

Tour historic buildings and ruins from a time when the park was a cultural crossroads for many people to see preservation in action.

Black and white photo of historic cars next to a color photo of modern cars

Shenandoah National Park

Travel Skyline Drive and throughout the park to see how the classic trip to Shenandoah has changed—or hasn't.

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Last updated: April 27, 2020