As far as atrocities against Native Americans by westerners, it’s hard to pick the worst. But there’s one that certainly ranks up there. Surely the horrific, predawn mass murder of at least 150 unarmed people, mostly women and children, who were flying the American flag fits the bill. Today on America’s National Parks, we revisit the dedication of Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.
On this month's "News from the Parks" episode, we talk about new closures, even as most parks have reopened. Plus, a new, 6-year celebration of America's 250th birthday kicks off in the parks.
On average, there are only one or two non-lethal bear "incidents" in a given year at Glacier National Park. And there have only been 10 bear-related fatalities in the history of the park (all of those have occurred since 1967). Only three of those fatalities involved hikers. Still, human-bear encounters can end in death and injury, no doubt, and the attacking bear is often euthanized. So, bear safety is incredibly important.
Today on America’s National Parks, we head to Glacier for a lesson in bear safety.
About 1,400 years ago, long before Europeans explored North America, a group of people living in the Four Corners region - where today Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet - chose what is now called Mesa Verde for their home. For more than 700 years they and their descendants lived and flourished here, eventually building elaborate stone communities in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Then, in the late A.D. 1200s, in the span of a generation or two, they disappeared.
Today on America’s National Parks, Mesa Verde, a spectacular reminder of this ancient culture - and so much more.
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that segregation in the public schools of the nation was unconstitutional. One of the first big tests of that decision came in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nine Black children attempted to enroll in the all-white Central High School. They would become known as the "Little Rock Nine.” Several segregationist councils threatened to hold protests at Central High and physically block the black students from entering the school. Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to support the segregationists on September 4, 1957. The sight of a line of soldiers blocking out the students made national headlines and polarized the nation. On September 24, President Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army—without its black soldiers—to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard.
As much as it was a momentous occasion in American history, that had ramifications far and wide forever to come, it’s easy to forget that these nine children had to walk into a building full of people that thought their very existence was going to destroy their version of America. It’s easy to forget that the crisis didn’t end with them walking through the doors. These are their stories, in their own words.
As summer begins, the National Park Service is instituting phased reopenings at many parks across the country, allowing visitors various levels of access to amenities. Meanwhile, park officials, concessionaires, and, gateway communities are figuring out how to manage the influx of new travelers amidst a pandemic that is far from over.
Every fall in one of the largest national parks in America, visitation slows to a near halt by the end of September. The ground is already covered with golden aspen leaves and the mountaintops are powdered with snow called “termination dust”. The skies lose up to 9 minutes of sunlight every day and the northern lights dance over the crisp landscape at night. While so much of the park and landscape slows into the winter, there is one group of individuals that eagerly await the snow: the sled dogs of Denali.
While exploring National Parks, Monuments and historic sites across the country, you may have noticed gigantic plaques in a few of the visitor centers, designating them as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Today on America's National Parks, we explore what makes these sites special, and what it takes for an exceptional place to become a World Heritage Site.
Herbert Hoover had been president for less than a year when the stock market crashed. At the next election, he was swept out out the white house and out of public life as a scapegoat that would forever be saddled with a legacy of a presidential disaster. It's time to set the record straight.
Today on America's National Parks, the Herbert Hoover that maybe you didn't know, and his National Park legacy.