The Legacy of America's National Park Service

Today, the National Park Service is home to hundreds of parks across the U.S., but the country's very first national park was actually established decades before the NPS came into being. That national park was Yellowstone, which was established on March 1, 1872 by Congress "as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." Yellowstone wasn't just America's first national park; it was the world's first. Its founding soon set off a movement that led to more than 100 nations establishing their own national parks and preserves. It wasn't until 35 more parks were established over a period of more than 40 years that President Woodrow Wilson finally signed the act that created the National Park Service on August 25, 1916. Today, the National Park Services oversees more than 400 areas covering over 84 million acres throughout the 50 states, plus the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Take in the majesty of our national parks with the videos below.

The History of the National Park Service

Find out how it came into being.

Celebrating 100 Years of National Parks

To commemorate the occasion, take a tour of Maine's Acadia National Park.

Yellowstone: World's First National Park

Explore what was not only the nation's first national park, but the world's.

Written by Curiosity Staff August 17, 2016

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