The NPS preserves a variety of places commemorating America's multi-faceted history. The NPS preserves cultural resources, such as buildings, landscapes, archeological sites, and museum collections. They serve as tangible evidence of our collective past.
Find a Park to find more of all Americans' stories.
Gateway National Recreation Area, NY/NJ
Elizabeth Alice Austen was born in 1866 in Staten Island. She was one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers. She lived most of her life in "Clear Comfort" which was her maternal grandparents' home. "Clear Comfort" is now a National Historic Landmark, and is run by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. It is located about six blocks north of Fort Wadsworth. Gertrude Tate was Alice Austen's lifelong companion.
Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
One of the most famous female soldiers of the Civil War was Jennie Hodgers. Born in 1843, her pre-war life seems filled with controversies and scandal. She emigrated from Ireland, possibly Belfast, to the United States. Eventually she enlisted with the 95th Illinois Infantry under the name Albert Cashier and began her military career.
Stonewall National Monument
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain, DC (President’s Park - White House)
Archibald Butt and Francis Millet perished aboard the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912. Both United States officials, the two had been close friends and possibly romantically involved. After their death, Congress authorized the construction of a memorial in their honor near the White House.
Governors Island National Monument, NY
From 1794 to 1966, the U.S. Army on Governors Island was part of the social, political, and economic tapestry of New York City. Henry Gerber, one of the earliest gay rights activists, served in the military here from 1925 to 1942. Gerber and others founded the Society for Human Rights with a focus on combating gay and lesbian oppression.
National AIDS Memorial Grove, CA
A place of beauty, serenity, and local and national prominence, the Memorial Grove gives a sense of honor and a home in our national landscape for the millions of lives touched by AIDS.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, MT
This area memorializes the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne in one of the Indian's last armed efforts to preserve their way of life. Here on June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota, and Cheyenne warriors. Cheyenne male two spirits (he’emane’o), who dressed in women's clothing, had important roles in the community in celebrating battle victories.
The National Park Service cares for America's more than 400 national parks…and works in almost every one of her 3,141 counties. We are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close to home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun. Find a few selected important places outside the parks here and explore the links for more. Then explore what you can do to share your own stories and the places that matter to you.
Many places have an LGBTQ history, but it is not mentioned in their interpretations. For those sites, visit the LGBTQ America HistoryPin project. Mapping these places helps to make this heritage more visible.
Last updated: February 15, 2021