From the senators, congressman, judges, and lawyers who shaped this nation to the places where legal decisions were made, national park service sites are a natural place to explore and reflect on our laws, lawmakers, and justice.

Courthouses & Legal Decisions

  • Appomattox Court House National Historical Park - Visit the reconstructed Appomattox Courthouse. The original was constructed in 1846.
  • Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site -- Visit the powerful place which was the front line of school desegregation after the landmark Brown v Board of Education legal decision.
  • César E. Chávez National Monument - Learn about the legacies of César E. Chávez and the farm worker movement include passage of California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, the first law in the U.S. that recognized farm workers' collective bargaining rights.
  • First State National Historical Park - Visit the New Castle Courthouse which was built in 1732 and served as the meeting place for the state's colonial assembly from 1732-1777. It is here where the Delaware Assembly voted on June 15, 1776 to separate from England and from Pennsylvania, creating the "State of Delaware."
  • Fort Smith National Historic Site - Visitors to Fort Smith can see the federal courthouse used by Judge Isaac C. Parker from 1875-1889.
  • Homestead National Monument of America - Learn about how the Homestead Act transformed the American landscape and the lives of settlers and Indigenous people forever.
  • Gateway Arch National Park - The Old Courthouse was the site of the first two trials of the pivotal Dred Scott case in 1847 and 1850. It was also where Virginia Minor's case for a woman's right to vote came to trial in the 1870s. You may tour this historic structure, and visit the restored courtrooms to learn more about our 19th century judicial system.
  • Independence National Historic Site - Built as the City Hall of Philadelphia, Old City Hall the building was used by the U. S. Supreme Court from the time the building was completed in 1791 until 1800 when the Federal Government moved to Washington D.C.
  • Manzanar National Historic Site, Minidoka and the Tule Lake unit of Valor in the Pacific National Historical Park to learn about the 3 Supreme Court decisions (Endo v. United States, Korematsu v. United States, Hirabayashi v. United States) that finall ended Japanese Incarceration during World War II.

Legislators, Lawyers & Judges

Want to explore this topic in person? Ready to go? Get your pass! The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series includes several passes that cover entrance fees at national parks.

Last updated: February 5, 2019