Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, we safeguard these more than 400 places and share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. Find a few of those stories here and then Find a Park to find more of all Americans' stories.
Homestead National Monument of America, Nebraska: With the promise of Free Land, the Homestead Act of 1862 enticed millions to cultivate the frontier. Families, immigrants, women, and freed slaves flooded 10 percent of the nation's land to chase their American Dream. American Indian cultures and natural environments gave way to diverse settlement, agricultural success, and industrial advancement—building our nation and changing the land forever.
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail:The Santa Fe Trail, stretching 1,200 miles from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico, was one of America's great trading routes. The trail followed several different routes depending on weather conditions and terrain. From 1821 until 1880, the Santa Fe Trail served as a vital commercial and military trail, and sometimes as an emigrant trail. Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Anglos, and African Americans encountered one another along the Santa Fe Trail creating an avenue of commercial and cultural exchange.
Santa Fe Trail: The Santa Fe Trail, stretching 1,200 miles from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico, was one of America's great trading routes. The trail followed several different routes depending on weather conditions and terrain. From 1821 until 1880, the Santa Fe Trail served as a vital commercial and military trail, and sometimes as an emigrant trail. Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Anglos, and African Americans encountered one another along the Santa Fe Trail creating an avenue of commercial and cultural exchange.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail: Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States.
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.
Angel Island State Park: From 1910 to 1940, the U.S. Immigration Station processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the majority from China. During World War II, Japanese, and German POWs were detained at the Station before being sent to facilities farther inland.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site:The heart of the museum at 97 Orchard Street in New York cite is a historic tenement, home to an estimated 7,000 people from over 20 nations between 1863 and 1935. The tenement's cramped living spaces, the lives of past residents and the history of the Lower East Side, contribute to its representation of the immigrant experience
Champlain Valley National Heritage Area: Following the American Civil War, Irish immigrants, French Canadians, Welch, and Italians all settled into the area, contributing to the growing diversity of culture.Today, the area welcomes Vietnamese, Baltic, and Somali people.The many ethnic festivals throughout the National Heritage Area celebrate and highlight the cultural diversity of the region.
Digging into the Colonial Past: Archeology and the 16th-Century Spanish Settlements at Charlesfort-Santa Elena lesson plan :For more than a century, historians and archeologists have worked to piece together the story of Santa Elena. Today, documents have been found that reveal the thoughts and motivations of Spanish colonists. Excavations uncovered artifacts and outlines of homes and fortifications. This valuable evidence lets us peek into the lives of the Spanish colonists and Spain's ambitions for North America in the 16th century.
Last updated: October 29, 2019