Little Bits of History

Devils Tower

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 25, 2011

Devils Tower

September 24, 1906: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower a National Monument, the first ever in the United States.DevilsToweris a monolith, or igneous intrusion, located in the northeast portion of Wyoming. It rises 1,267 feet above the surrounding area. The National Monument includes the famous rock as well as 1,347 acres of surrounding lands. Nearly 400,000 people visit the tower each year and about 4,000 of them scale to the summit 5,112 feet above sea level.

A National Monument is comparable to a National Park except that a President can declare an area a Monument without waiting for the longer process which requires Congress to vote on making an area a National Park. The Monuments also receive less funding. The Antiquities Act of 1906 was passed because of concerns about protecting Native American prehistoric artifacts. The Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone tribes all had cultural and geographic ties to the monolith.

Several tribes consider the site a holy place and have asked that climbing to the summit be halted entirely. The Park Service asks that climbers refrain from their pursuit in June when the monolith is part of the Native rituals and rites. About 85% of climbers respect the request but there was a suit brought stating the government was acting inappropriately for religious purposes.

There are 57 National Monuments within the National Park System covering 2,157,574 acres and a total of 93 Monuments between all departments overseeing their use. The National Park Service runs 391 parks and 60% of those areas have historic significance. The Park Service maintains a web presence to help with educational endeavors. They wish to maintain the historic places geographically as well as the timelessness of the lessons they teach.

“We cannot let our nation’s parks deteriorate beyond repair. It is essential that Congress act now to protect and restore our National Parks System.” – Brian Baird

“Protecting dark night skies in our National Parks is as vital as protecting clean air, water, wildlife and the sounds of nature.” – Thomas Kiernan

“What we don’t want to do is price the national park experience out of anyone’s lifestyle.” – James Doyle

“If you like wide-open spaces and a sense of the Old West and pioneering spirit, there’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park.” – Al Nash

Also on this day:
Powerful Serve; Best Backhand – In 1938, John Donald Budge became the first tennis player to win the Grand Slam of tennis.
Majestic 12 – In 1947, Harry S Truman did not form a secret society.

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