January 1 1863: In the early hours of the day the Homestead Act of 1862 took effect, Daniel Freeman filed one of the first homestead applications at the Land Office in Brownsville, Nebraska. Homestead National Monument of America contains his homestead near Beatrice, NE.
January 2 1960: Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts launched his successful campaign for the presidency. John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site in Brookline, MA, preserves the birthplace of the 35th president.
January 3 1863: After three days of fighting outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Confederate troops under Gen. Braxton Bragg retreated and allowed Union forces under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans to occupy the city, a key base for later Union advances. Stones River National Battlefield contains a portion of the battlefield.
January 4 1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed waters and islands off the Florida Keys containing the largest all-masonry fortification in the Western Hemisphere Fort Jefferson National Monument. Congress retitled the area Dry Tortugas National Park in 1992.
January 5 1943: George Washington Carver died at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, after spending 47 years there as a scientist and teacher. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site includes a museum focusing on his life and work.
January 6 1919: Theodore Roosevelt died at Sagamore Hill, his home at Oyster Bay, New York, since 1886. It became Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in 1962.
January 7 1894: The earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture, 81 frames lasting about two seconds showing Thomas A. Edison's assistant Fred Ott sneezing, was made in the "Black Maria" movie studio at Edison's laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. The laboratory and Glenmont, his nearby estate, now compose Edison National Historic Site.
January 8 1815: American troops under Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson thrashed British forces under Maj. Gen. Sir Edward Pakenham in the Battle of New Orleans, the last battle of the War of 1812. Chalmette plantation, the site of the battle, is part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, LA.
January 9 1908: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed as Muir Woods National Monument 295 acres in Marin County, California, donated to the government by William Kent. The virgin stand of coastal redwoods was named for John Muir, writer and conservationist.
January 10 1776: Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a pamphlet that proved influential in winning public support for American independence from Britain. Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia interprets Paine's influence and other events leading to the approval of the Declaration of Independence there that July.
January 11 1853: John Ericsson tested a ship powered by hot air in New York Harbor, but his caloric engine proved to lack sufficient power. Better known for his screw propeller and his design of the Union ironclad Monitor, Ericsson is honored by a monument near the Lincoln Memorial in National Capital Parks.
January 12 1848: Abraham Lincoln, then a congressman from Springfield, Illinois, attacked President James K. Polk's prosecution of the Mexican War in a speech in the House of Representatives. During his single term in Congress Lincoln retained his Springfield house, now the centerpiece of Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
January 13 1863: On the parade ground of Fort Scott, Kansas, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment joined the U.S. Army, becoming the first African American regiment from a northern state to do so during the Civil War. The parade ground is now part of Fort Scott National Historic Site.
January 14 1946: Harry S Truman became the only incumbent president to ascend the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.
January 15 1929: Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta in his grandfather's house at 501 Auburn Avenue, where he lived until the age of 12. It is now the focal point of Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site.
January 16 1908: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed land containing spirelike rock formations and caves in Pinnacles National Forest, California, as Pinnacles National Monument.
January 17 1781: In a key battle of the Southern campaign of the American Revolution, Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan led his band of Continental soldiers and backwoods militia to victory over Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton's larger force of British regulars at Cowpens. Cowpens National Battlefield, SC, preserves the site of the engagement.
January 18 1903: From a station at South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Guglielmo Marconi transmitted a wireless telegraphic message from President Theodore Roosevelt to British King Edward VII. The king responded the next day, making this the first two-way wireless communication between Europe and America. The site of Marconi's station is within Cape Cod National Seashore.
January 19 1958: Aircraft warning lights were permanently installed above the observation windows atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.
January 20 1886: Thomas A. Edison purchased Glenmont, an estate containing a 29-room Queen Anne-style mansion in West Orange, New Jersey. Glenmont and the new laboratory he would build nearby now compose Edison National Historic Site.
January 21 1957: Because January 20 fell on a Sunday in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's second inaugural ceremonies were held the following day. After repeating the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol, Eisenhower led the inaugural parade along a section of Pennsylvania Avenue later designated Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site.
January 22 1973: Four years and two days after he left the White House, Lyndon B. Johnson suffered a fatal heart attack at his Texas ranch. The ranch and the family cemetery in which he was buried three days later are parts of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.
January 23 1932: New Mexico Gov. Arthur Seligman inaugurated the use of high-speed electric elevators, descending or rising 75 stories in a minute's time, at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM.
January 24 1923: President Warren G. Harding proclaimed Aztec Ruins National Monument, containing remnants of a large 12th-century Pueblo Indian community in New Mexico.
January 25 1787: Poor farmers led by Daniel Shays tried to seize the arms in the federal arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts, to forcibly resist foreclosure on their lands, but they were driven off by artillery fire from the state militia. Springfield Armory National Historic Site includes the site of the arsenal.
January 26 1915: President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation establishing Rocky Mountain National Park, containing peaks of more than 14,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies.
January 27 1896: Thomas A. Edison began the experimental generation of x-rays at his West Orange, New Jersey, laboratory in work that would lead to his development of the first practical fluoroscope. The laboratory and Glenmont, his nearby estate, now compose Edison National Historic Site.
January 28 1915: President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation establishing the U.S. Coast Guard. The new agency assumed the responsibilities of the former U.S. Life-Saving Service, including three lifesaving stations now included in Cape Cod National Seashore, MA.
January 29 1761: Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin was born in Switzerland. The life and contributions of Gallatin, who served his adopted country as a member of Congress, secretary of the treasury, and statesman, are commemorated at his home in western Pennsylvania, now Friendship Hill National Historic Site.
January 30 1882: Franklin D. Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York, at what would be his lifelong home. It was designated Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site a year before his burial there in 1945.
January 31 1842: Elizabeth Tyler, President John Tyler's daughter, married William Nevison Waller at the White House.
February 1 1904: William Howard Taft took office as Theodore Roosevelt's secretary of war, the last public office he would hold before succeeding Roosevelt as president. William Howard Taft National Historic Site preserves his birthplace and boyhood home in Cincinnati, OH.
February 2 1848: By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican War, Mexico relinquished its claims to Texas above the Rio Grande and ceded New Mexico and California to the U.S. The first battle of the war had occurred May 8, 1846, at what is now Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site, TX.
February 3 1920: Beyond the Horizon, the play for which Eugene O'Neill won the first of his four Pulitzer Prizes, received its first performance. O'Neill's contributions to the American theater are recognized at Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, containing his last home in Danville, CA.
February 4 1861: A convention to form the Confederate States of American opened in Montgomery, Alabama. The Confederacy's resistance to U.S. occupation of its claimed territory led to war two months later at Fort Sumter, now Fort Sumter National Monument, SC.
February 5 1778: Friedrich von Steuben of the Prussian army was received by the Continental Congress in York, Pennsylvania, where it was meeting while the British occupied Philadelphia. The Congress directed him to report to George Washington at Valley Forge, where he drilled the Continental Army in military tactics. Valley Forge National Historical Park contains the site of the army's winter encampment.
February 6 1968: A year before his death at the age of 79, former president Dwight D. Eisenhower shot a hole-in-one on a Palm Springs, California, golf course. His other contributions are commemorated at Eisenhower National Historic Site, his home in Gettysburg, PA.
February 7 1908: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Jewel Cave, South Dakota, a national monument. Jewel Cave National Monument contains a series of chambers connected by narrow passages, with fine calcite crystal encrustations.
February 8 1820: Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, best remembered for his march through Georgia during the Civil War, was born in Lancaster, Ohio. He is commemorated by an equestrian statue near the White House in National Capital Parks, Washington, DC.
February 9 1906: Black poet Paul Laurence Dunbar died at his Dayton, Ohio, home. Dunbar's home and sites associated with his friends Wilbur and Orville Wright now compose Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
February 10 1899: Herbert Hoover, then a mining engineer, married Lou Henry, another geology major he had met at Stanford University. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site commemorates the life of the 31st U.S. president at his birthplace in West Branch, IA.
February 11 1861: President-elect Abraham Lincoln left Springfield, Illinois, for Washington, never to return to the only home he had ever owned. It is now Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
February 12 1809: Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin at what is now Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, KY. A symbolic cabin is enshrined there in a classical temple.
February 13 1968: Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, was reopened to the public following the restoration of its interior to its historic appearance and function. The theater and the house across the street where Lincoln died compose Ford's Theatre National Historic Site.
February 14 1931: President Herbert Hoover signed legislation creating Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, to preserve the ruins of Indian villages built between AD 350 and 1300.
February 15 1898: The U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, Cuba, making "Remember the Maine" a rallying cry for the ensuing U.S. war with Spain. A memorial to veterans of the Spanish-American War is included within the George Washington Memorial Parkway, VA.
February 16 1862: Union troops under Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant forced the "unconditional surrender" of Confederate Fort Donelson, the Union's first major victory in the Civil War. The site, on the Cumberland River in Tennessee, is part of Fort Donelson National Battlefield.
February 17 1906: Alice Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt's eldest daughter, married Rep. Nicholas Longworth of Ohio in a highly publicized wedding at the White House.
February 18 1778: Newly arrived from France, Pierre L'Enfant was made a captain of engineers in the Continental Army at Valley Forge. His acquaintance there with George Washington led to his later commission for the design of Washington, DC, of which the National Mall was a central element.
February 19 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, whereby 110,000 persons of Japanese descent on the West Coast were confined in relocation camps during World War II. Manzanar National Historic Site, CA, preserves the remains of the first of these camps and tells the story of its inhabitants.
February 20 1895: Frederick Douglass, ex-slave, abolitionist, and civil rights crusader, died at Cedar Hill, his home in Washington, DC, since 1877. It is now Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.
February 21 1885: President Chester A. Arthur spoke at ceremonies dedicating the completed Washington Monument in Washington, DC, under construction since 1848.
February 22 1732: George Washington was born on a plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia. George Washington Birthplace National Monument contains remains of the plantation and a "memorial mansion" intended to resemble his birth house.
February 23 1720: Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus established Mission San Jose, the largest and best known of the four Spanish colonial missions in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, TX.
February 24 1992: President George Bush signed legislation establishing Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve on Saint Croix, Virgin Islands. It includes the only place under U.S. jurisdiction where Christopher Columbus's men are known to have set foot.
February 25 1779: British Lt. Gov. Henry Hamilton surrendered Fort Sackville at Vincennes to a Virginia militia force under Lt. Col. George Rogers Clark, bolstering American claims to the Old Northwest in the American Revolution. Clark's victory is commemorated at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, IN.
February 26 1919: President Woodrow Wilson approved legislation creating Lafayette National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine--the first natural area east of the Mississippi River to be made a national park. Congress renamed it Acadia National Park in 1929.
February 27 1776: American patriots defeated a larger force of American loyalists at Moores Creek Bridge in North Carolina. The battle ended royal authority in the colony and encouraged North Carolina to instruct its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence--the first colony to so act. Moores Creek National Battlefield preserves the site.
February 28 1863: Architect and builder James J. Gifford laid the cornerstone for John T. Ford's new theater in Washington, DC. Little more than two years later, on April 14, 1865, it would become the scene of one of the great tragedies in American history: the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It is now part of Ford's Theatre National Historic Site.
February 29 1864: President Abraham Lincoln approved an act of Congress reestablishing the three-star rank of lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. Previously held only by George Washington, it was conferred upon Ulysses S. Grant two days later. General Grant National Memorial in New York City commemorates the Army's foremost Civil War commander.
March 1 1872: President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation establishing Yellowstone National Park in present-day Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was the world's first national park.
March 2 1889: President Grover Cleveland signed legislation authorizing land containing the Casa Grande Ruin in Arizona Territory to be reserved from settlement or sale, the first federal act providing for protection of a prehistoric feature. What is now Casa Grande Ruins National Monument was reserved by his successor, Benjamin Harrison, in 1892.
March 3 1931: President Herbert Hoover approved an act of Congress making ?The Star-Spangled Banner? the national anthem. Francis Scott Key had written the lyrics after observing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor in September 1814. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine preserves the site and tells the story.
March 4 1789: The U.S. government under the Constitution began functioning at Federal Hall, New York's former City Hall enlarged and remodeled for the purpose. Federal Hall National Memorial, originally a U.S. Customs building completed in 1842, now occupies the site.
March 5 1770: British troops stationed in Boston fired on an unruly mob, killing five. The site of what agitators against British rule would call the "Boston Massacre" is marked in the street outside the Old State House, part of Boston National Historical Park.
March 6 1962: The most devastating extratropical storm in U.S. history raked the eastern seaboard. Discouraging projected development on coastal barrier islands like Assateague Island in Maryland and Virginia, it was a primary factor leading to the establishment of Assateague Island National Seashore three years later.
March 7 1974: President Richard Nixon signed legislation creating Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. The free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries pass through 90 miles of gorges and valleys containing numerous natural and historical features and recreational opportunities.
March 8 1862: Union troops defeated Confederate forces, including about 1,000 Cherokee Indians, at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in one of the major Civil War engagements west of the Mississippi, enabling the Union to gain full control of Missouri. Pea Ridge National Military Park contains the battlefield.
March 9 1862: USS Monitor successfully battled the Confederate ironclad Virginia off Hampton Roads, Virginia. A memorial to John Ericsson, designer of the revolutionary Union ironclad vessel, stands near the Lincoln Memorial in National Capital Parks.
March 10 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating Cape Lookout National Seashore. It encompasses a series of undeveloped barrier islands extending 55 miles along the lower Outer Banks of North Carolina.
March 11 1941: Henry Ford participated in ceremonies dedicating the George Washington Carver Museum at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama. Interpreting Carver's 47 years as a scientist and teacher at Tuskegee, the museum is part of Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site.
March 12 1692: Don Diego de Vargas, leading an expedition in a search for salt, entered Guadalupe Canyon in present-day Texas, becoming the first non-Indian visitor to what is now Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
March 13 1868: The Senate began to try President Andrew Johnson on impeachment charges brought against him by the House of Representatives; he was acquitted by one vote. Andrew Johnson National Historic Site contains Johnson's home and burial place in Greeneville, TN.
March 14 1975: The U.S. frigate Constitution, "Old Ironsides," left Drydock No. 1 at the Boston Naval Shipyard, the last commissioned vessel to use the first naval drydock in New England. Both are displayed at the shipyard, part of Boston National Historical Park.
March 15 1781: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, a costly victory of British troops under Lord Cornwallis over American regulars and militia under Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene, opened the campaign that led to the end of Revolutionary War combat at Yorktown, Virginia, that October. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park contains the battlefield.
March 16 1751: James Madison, the fourth U.S. president, was born in Port Conway, Virginia. During the War of 1812 the British invaded Washington and burned the White House, prematurely ending Madison's residence there.
March 17 1776: British occupying forces evacuated Boston less than two weeks after the Continental Army seized and fortified Dorchester Heights south of the city on March 5, the sixth anniversary of the "Boston Massacre." A 115-foot monument on Dorchester Heights is part of Boston National Historical Park, MA.
March 18 1834: A system of ten inclined planes crossing the Allegheny Mountains began operation, linking the eastern and western sections of Pennsylvania's Main Line canal between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site preserves remains of the system, which operated until 1857.
March 19 1936: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation creating Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Nebraska. It contains the homestead of Daniel Freeman, who filed one of the first homestead applications under the Homestead Act of 1862.
March 20 1954: U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and a band of fellow conservationists began a 175-mile hike along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Maryland to protest its proposed conversion to a motor parkway. As a result of this and other opposition to the parkway, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves the canal's towpath for hikers and cyclists.
March 21 1963: The final group of prisoners left Alcatraz, which "never was no good for anybody," according to the last one out. The former federal penitentiary is now part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA.
March 22 1862: Union forces marched out of Fort Union, New Mexico Territory, and down the Santa Fe Trail to halt a Confederate invasion of the West at the Battle of Glorieta Pass. Fort Union National Monument preserves remnants of the frontier post.
March 23: 1863: Monadnock, a double-turreted monitor, was launched at the Charlestown Navy Yard; it became the only monitor built at a government yard to see Civil War action and the first monitor to round Cape Horn. The yard is now part of Boston National Historical Park, MA.
March 24: 1865: Julia Dent Grant, wife of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, was introduced to First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln at City Point, Virginia, now part of Petersburg National Battlefield. Mrs. Lincoln's unfriendly demeanor may have led the Grants to decline President Lincoln's invitation to join them at Ford's Theatre three weeks later.
March 25 1965: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., addressed a rally on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery march in support of voting rights. King's civil rights activities are honored at Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site in Atlanta.
March 26 1928: President Calvin Coolidge signed legislation creating a national military park at the site of the Union's first major Civil War victory. At what is now Fort Donelson National Battlefield, TN, troops under Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant forced the "unconditional surrender" of Confederate Fort Donelson in February 1862.
March 27 1814: Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson's Tennessee militia defeated Chief Menawa's Red Stick Creeks at a bend in the Tallapoosa River, opening large parts of Alabama and Georgia to white settlement. Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, AL, preserves the site.
March 28 1862: Confederate troops from Texas defeated Federal troops from Colorado at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, New Mexico Territory, but the destruction of their supplies forced their return to Texas, ending their invasion of the West. The battlefield is part of Pecos National Historical Park, NM.
March 29 1806: President Thomas Jefferson approved legislation authorizing construction of a road from Cumberland, Maryland, to Ohio and appropriating $30,000 for the purpose. Mount Washington Tavern, now part of Fort Necessity National Battlefield, PA, was a stage station on this first federally funded highway, known as the National Road.
March 30 1975: Former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter opened his presidential campaign headquarters in the railroad depot in his home town of Plains, GA. The depot is now part of Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.
March 31 1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the Federal Unemployment Relief Act, which authorized the Civilian Conservation Corps. In its nine-year existence the CCC provided employment for 2.5 million young men and accomplished thousands of construction and maintenance projects in the national parks, beginning with Shenandoah National Park, VA.
April 1 1865: Union cavalry and infantry under Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan attacked Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett's Confederates at Five Forks, southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, to cut the South Side Railroad supplying the city's Confederate defenders. Sheridan's victory was followed the next day by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's final assault on Petersburg and its evacuation by Gen. Robert E. Lee. Petersburg National Battlefield includes the site of the Battle of Five Forks.
April 2 1803: President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, nearly doubling the size of the United States. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, MO, commemorates the purchase and the westward movement that followed.
April 3 1860: The Pony Express began to carry overland mail on the Oregon Trail but was discontinued after only 18 months following completion of the transcontinental telegraph. Both the Pony Express and the telegraph had stations at Fort Laramie, now Fort Laramie National Historic Site, WY.
April 4 1968: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on a motel balcony in Memphis, TN. His funeral was held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where his father was pastor, and he was later entombed next to it. The church and tomb are parts of Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site.
April 5 1856: Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute and America's foremost black leader of the early 20th century, was born in slavery on a tobacco farm in Franklin County, Virginia. Booker T. Washington National Monument preserves the site.
April 6 1844: After spending two years and writing some of his best short stories in a small brick house on North 7th Street in Philadelphia, Edgar Allan Poe left for New York with $4.50 in his pocket. The house is now Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.
April 7 1862: Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee turned back the previous day's Confederate advance in the Battle of Shiloh, one of the largest Civil War engagements in the western theater. Shiloh National Military Park, TN, preserves the field of the fighting.
April 8 1726: Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born at Morrisania, his family's estate in Westchester County, New York. Morris and the other signers of the Declaration are memorialized in Constitution Gardens, Washington, DC.
April 9 1865: Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Wilmer McLean's house at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, ending the major military action of the Civil War. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park contains a reconstruction of the house.
April 10 1939: During the early morning hours, the Lincoln Memorial was reserved for filming the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart.
April 11 1862: Union bombardment with rifled cannon breached the walls of Confederate-held Fort Pulaski outside Savannah, Georgia, signaling the obsolescence of masonry fortifications. The fort is now within Fort Pulaski National Monument.
April 12 1861: Confederate artillerists bombarded Fort Sumter after its U.S. Army commander refused to evacuate it, igniting the Civil War. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC, contains the fort and other Charleston Harbor defenses.
April 13 1943: President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth.
April 14 1865: President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while watching the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre, now part of Ford's Theatre National Historic Site in Washington, DC.
April 15 1865: At his home near Bryantown, Maryland, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd set the left leg of John Wilkes Booth, who had broken it in jumping to the stage of Ford's Theatre after shooting President Abraham Lincoln the previous evening. Mudd was sentenced to life imprisonment in Fort Jefferson, Florida, for aiding Booth's escape but was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in 1869. The fort is now within Dry Tortugas National Park.
April 16 1605: Don Juan de Oñate, founder of the first Spanish settlement in New Mexico in 1598, was the first known Spaniard to carve his name on the massive sandstone mesa-point called El Morro. El Morro National Monument, NM, preserves Oñate's and hundreds of other inscriptions.
April 17 1896: The Wright brothers' magazine Snap-Shots announced the impending sale of Wright-manufactured bicycles at their shop at 22 South Williams Street in Dayton, Ohio, now part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
April 18 1775: Robert Newman, sexton of Boston's Old North Church, hung two lanterns in its steeple to signal that British troops were crossing the harbor to Charlestown en route to Concord, enabling Paul Revere and William Dawes to alert patriot resistance. The church and Revere's house nearby are parts of Boston National Historical Park.
April 19 1775: An effort by British troops to confiscate the arms of patriot militia met with armed resistance in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, triggering the Revolutionary War. Minute Man National Historical Park contains scenes of the fighting.
April 20 1832: President Andrew Jackson signed an act of Congress reserving four sections of land containing hot mineral springs in Arkansas Territory. This first U.S. reservation made to protect a natural resource formed the basis for Hot Springs National Park.
April 21 1865: Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, who had set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth the morning after Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln, was arrested at his Maryland home for having aided the escaping assassin. Mudd was sentenced to life imprisonment in Fort Jefferson, off the Florida Keys, but was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson in 1869. The fort is now within Dry Tortugas National Park.
April 22 1853: Fort Scott, Indian Territory, was officially abandoned by the U.S. Army when Companies A and K of the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen evacuated the fort. The former Permanent Indian Frontier post is now Fort Scott National Historic Site, KS.
April 23 1800: Congress established a post route along the Natchez Trace, an old trail between Nashville, Tennessee, and Natchez, Mississippi. The Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic road begun in 1937, follows the route.
April 24 1971: A violent demonstration against the Vietnam War caused the National Park Service to close the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, to the public.
April 25 1947: President Harry S Truman signed legislation establishing what is now Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND. The park includes scenic badlands along the Little Missouri River and part of Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch.
April 26 1607: Colonists en route to begin permanent English settlement in America sighted Cape Henry at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, where they spent four days before sailing up the James River to Jamestown. Colonial National Historical Park, VA, includes a memorial at Cape Henry as well as Jamestown Island.
April 27 1897: Nearly 12 years after Ulysses S. Grant's death, Grant's Tomb in New York City was dedicated on the 75th anniversary of his birth. The mausoleum is officially designated General Grant National Memorial.
April 28 1858: The commissioners of New York's Central Park adopted Frederick Law Olmsted's and Calvert Vaux's plan for the park, launching Olmsted into a new career as a landscape architect. Olmsted's achievements are commemorated at Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, MA.
April 29 1776: Capt. John Derby set sail from Salem, Massachusetts, to England with news of the battles at Lexington and Concord. He arrived there on May 28, beating the English messenger by two weeks. Salem Maritime National Historic Site preserves portions of the historic seaport.
April 30 1789: George Washington was inaugurated the first president of the U.S. at Federal Hall, New York City, on the site of the present Federal Hall National Memorial.
May 1 1931: Half Cone, a volcanic vent in Aniakchak Caldera, began a major eruption that darkened the skies in southwestern Alaska for weeks. President Jimmy Carter proclaimed Aniakchak National Monument in 1978.
May 2 1932: President Herbert Hoover approved an act of Congress authorizing acceptance of a Potomac River island in Washington, DC, as a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt Island contains a statue of the president amid natural surroundings.
May 3 1962: U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas completed a three-day float trip down the Buffalo River in northern Arkansas, leading him to advocate its preservation for "all the people . . . as a remnant of the ancient Ozarks." Congress made 136 miles of it Buffalo National River in 1972.
May 4 1798: Vice President Thomas Jefferson informed the American Philosophical Society, over which he presided, of his scientific invention of a new mouldboard for a plow, for which a French society awarded him a gold medal. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, commemorates this multifaceted genius.
May 5 1960: The Netherlands Carillon, a gift from the Netherlands in gratitude for American aid received during and after World War II, was officially dedicated on the 15th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi Germany. It stands on George Washington Memorial Parkway land in Arlington, VA.
May 6 1646: Joseph Jenks received the first industrial patent in North America at Saugus, Massachusetts Bay Colony, for "engines of mills to go by water for the making of sickles and other edged tools." The engines have been reconstructed at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.
May 7 1945: General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, accepted the surrender of Germany to conclude European military combat in World War II. Eisenhower's life and work are commemorated at Eisenhower National Historic Site, PA.
May 8 1846: U.S. troops under Maj. Gen. Zachary Taylor routed a superior Mexican force at Palo Alto in the first battle of the Mexican War. Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site near Brownsville, TX, preserves the site.
May 9 1926: With Richard Evelyn Byrd as navigator, Floyd Bennett piloted a three-engine Fokker monoplane from Spitzbergen to the vicinity of the North Pole and back. The flight earned them the Medal of Honor. Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, so named after Bennett's death two years later, is now part of Gateway National Recreation Area.
May 10 1869: The Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads joined to complete the first transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah, now in Golden Spike National Historic Site.
May 11 1910: President William Howard Taft signed legislation establishing Glacier National Park, Montana. Heavily promoted by the Great Northern Railroad, the park figured prominently in the "See America First" campaign to encourage domestic tourism before and during World War I.
May 12 1898: Rear Adm. William T. Sampson's American fleet bombarded San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the Spanish-American War, which resulted in Spain's cession of the island to the U.S. San Juan National Historic Site preserves the city's historic defensive fortifications.
May 13 1775: Thomas Stone took his seat as a delegate from Maryland to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia; he would sign the Declaration of Independence there the following year. His country house near Port Tobacco, MD, is now Thomas Stone National Historic Site.
May 14 1908: Wilbur Wright in the Wright Flyer III made the first flight carrying a passenger, Charles W. Furnas, at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, now part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, OH.
May 15 1862: Confederates at Drewry's Bluff repulsed an attack by five Union vessels, including the ironclad Monitor, that were steaming up the James River to bombard Richmond, Virginia. Drewry's Bluff is part of Richmond National Battlefield Park.
May 16 1914: A bronze statue of Commodore John Barry, an Irish immigrant who became the first American naval officer to capture an enemy vessel in the Revolutionary War, was dedicated in Franklin Park, part of National Capital Parks in Washington, DC.
May 17 1954: The U.S. Supreme Court declared racial segregation of public schools unconstitutional. The segregated Monroe School in Topeka, Kansas, attended by Linda Brown, the plaintiff's daughter, is now Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.
May 18 1938: President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved legislation giving the National Park Service responsibility for constructing and maintaining the Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic road following a historic trail between Nashville, Tennessee, and Natchez, Mississippi.
May 19 1863: Confederate defenders of Vicksburg, Mississippi, repulsed Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's attack on their lines. When a second attack three days later also failed, Grant undertook siege operations leading to the city's surrender on July 4. Vicksburg National Military Park includes remnants of the Confederate defenses and Union siege works.
May 20 1891: Thomas A. Edison's new strip motion picture film was first shown to an outside audience at his laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. The laboratory and Glenmont, his nearby estate, now compose Edison National Historic Site.
May 21 1881: Clara Barton became president of the American Red Cross, a post she held until 1904 while assisting in 18 relief efforts. Her home at Glen Echo, Maryland, is now Clara Barton National Historic Site.
May 22 1781: At Ninety Six, South Carolina, Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene began the Continental Army's longest siege of the Revolutionary War against American loyalists, who repulsed his attack and forced his withdrawal nearly a month later. Ninety Six National Historic Site contains remains of the defensive and offensive earthworks.
May 23 1928: President Calvin Coolidge signed legislation authorizing construction of the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, linking Washington, DC, with George Washington's home below Alexandria, Virginia. This early federal parkway soon became part of the longer George Washington Memorial Parkway, extending to the Great Falls of the Potomac River above Washington.
May 24 1861: After Virginia seceded from the Union and Robert E. Lee resigned his U.S. Army commission to command its forces, Union troops occupied Arlington, his Virginia home overlooking Washington, DC. It is now designated Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.
May 25 1910: Wilbur and Orville Wright flew together for the only time at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, now part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, OH.
May 26 1868: The U.S. Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson of offenses charged by the House of Representatives in the only impeachment of a president. Andrew Johnson National Historic Site contains Johnson's home and burial place in Greeneville, TN.
May 27 1863: Confederate gunners at Fort Hill and river batteries north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, sank the Union gunboat Cincinnati in the Mississippi River during the Union siege of Vicksburg. Vicksburg National Military Park includes remains of the Confederate defenses.
May 28 1754: George Washington saw his first combat at the beginning of the French and Indian War when he and his men skirmished with a French force in Jumonville Glen, now part of Fort Necessity National Battlefield, PA.
May 29 1917: John F. Kennedy was born in his parents' home at 83 Beals Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, where he lived until the age of four. It is now John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site.
May 30 1539: A Spanish expedition led by Hernando De Soto landed on Florida's west coast and spent the next four years on a 4,000-mile trek through what later became the southeastern United States. De Soto National Memorial near the mouth of Tampa Bay commemorates the expedition.
May 31 1889: The South Fork Dam above Johnstown, Pennsylvania, broke after heavy rains, killing more than 2,200 townspeople in the deadliest flood in American history. Johnstown Flood National Memorial commemorates the disaster.
June 1 1938: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation to create Saratoga National Historical Park, New York. It preserves the field of the decisive American victory over the British in 1777, a turning point of the Revolutionary War.
June 2 1886: President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in the Blue Room of the White House, the only time a president was married in the executive mansion.
June 3 1864: Union troops under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant assaulted entrenched Confederate positions at Cold Harbor, east of Richmond, Virginia, suffering close to 6,000 casualties during the morning's fight. The costly defeat caused Grant to resort to siege operations. Richmond National Battlefield Park includes well-preserved trenches at Cold Harbor.
June 4 1843: Company A, the "Black Horse Troop" of the First United States Dragoons from Fort Scott, rendezvoused at Council Grove, Indian Territory, to join the military escort on the Santa Fe Trail that resulted in the apprehension of Jacob Snively and his Texas freebooters. The story is interpreted at Fort Scott National Historic Site, KS.
June 5 1978: President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating Lowell National Historical Park, MA. The park includes textile mills, worker housing, power canals, and commercial buildings illustrating America's 19th-century industrial revolution.
June 6 1912: One of the world's largest recorded volcanic eruptions occurred near Mount Katmai in southwestern Alaska. In 1918 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Katmai National Monument--now Katmai National Park--to protect the "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes."
June 7 1880: Congress provided for erection of the Yorktown Column, commemorating the final victory of American forces in the Revolutionary War in 1781 and the French alliance that enabled it. The monument is part of Colonial National Historical Park, VA.
June 8 1906: President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act, which granted protection to Indian ruins and artifacts on federal lands and authorized presidents to proclaim lands containing historic and scientific features as national monuments. The first area so designated was Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming, proclaimed that September.
June 9 1893: Excavations in the basement of the former Ford's Theatre, which had been converted into a War Department office building after President Abraham Lincoln's assassination there in 1865, caused the three floors above to collapse, killing 22 government employees and injuring 68 others. The original theater interior was reconstructed in 1968, and Ford's Theatre National Historic Site in Washington, DC, is again the scene of theatrical performances.
June 10 1864: Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest skillfully employed Confederate cavalry to block Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's supply lines in the Battle of Brices Cross Roads. Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, MS, contains part of the field.
June 11 1896: President Grover Cleveland signed legislation to acquire the house across the street from Ford's Theatre where President Abraham Lincoln had died following his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. Restored and refurnished to its 1865 appearance, the house is part of Ford's Theatre National Historic Site in Washington, DC.
June 12 1915: Dwight D. Eisenhower graduated from the U.S Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry. His life and work are commemorated at Eisenhower National Historic Site, PA.
June 13 1859: Frederick Law Olmsted married Mary Cleveland Perkins Olmsted, his brother John's widow. The son of John and Mary, John Charles Olmsted, and the son of Frederick and Mary, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., would themselves become noted landscape architects. Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, MA, contains the Olmsted firm's studio.
June 14 1934: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation creating Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia. It includes the massive temple mounds of a Mississippian Indian ceremonial complex that thrived between AD 900 and 1100.
June 15 1967: Archeologist Jean Pinkley discovered the foundations of the great 17th-century Pecos mission church at Pecos National Historical Park, NM.
June 16 1888: Thomas A. Edison and his staff finished the prototype of his commercial phonograph after several days of experimental work at his West Orange, New Jersey, laboratory. The laboratory and Glenmont, his nearby estate, now compose Edison National Historic Site.
June 17 1877: In the first battle of the Nez Perce War, Nez Perce Indians routed two companies of U.S. Army cavalry near White Bird, Idaho Territory. White Bird Battlefield is part of Nez Perce National Historical Park.
June 18 1781: American loyalists under Col. John Cruger repulsed an attack led by Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene and "Light-horse Harry" Lee following a month-long siege on their defenses at Ninety Six, South Carolina. Ninety Six National Historic Site contains remains of the defensive and offensive earthworks.
June 19 1934: President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved an appropriation to begin construction of the Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic road following a historic trail between Nashville, Tennessee, and Natchez, Mississippi.
June 20 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill signed an agreement that resulted in the development of the first atomic bomb. They met in what is now the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York.
June 21 1843: The Dollar Newspaper published Edgar Allan Poe's story, "The Gold Bug," for which he won a $100 prize. Poe was then living in a small brick house on North 7th Street in Philadelphia, now Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site.
June 22 1564: French Huguenots led by René de Laudonnière landed near the mouth of the St. Johns River in Florida and began building a fortified settlement. Spain, which also claimed the region, retaliated the next year by establishing St. Augustine and dislodging the French. Fort Caroline National Memorial commemorates the short-lived colony near its site.
June 23 1858: Capt. Nathaniel Lyon took command of a detachment of soldiers from the 2nd Infantry and 3rd Artillery regiments at Fort Scott to restore law and order during the chaos of "Bleeding Kansas." Fort Scott National Historic Site, KS, interprets the strife between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions.
June 24 1833: The U.S. frigate Constitution, "Old Ironsides," inaugurated the first naval drydock in New England at the Charlestown Navy Yard. Both the ship and the drydock remain at the yard, now part of Boston National Historical Park.
June 25 1950: North Korean forces equipped with Soviet-made weapons invaded South Korea, beginning the Korean War. The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, honors those Americans who served in the three-year conflict.
June 26 1876: Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians killed Lt. Col. George A. Custer and all members of his 7th U.S. Cavalry battalion at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Montana. The site is preserved in Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
June 27 1864: Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Confederates repulsed Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's attack near Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, suffering some 800 casualties to the Union's 3,000. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park commemorates the Confederate victory.
June 28 1865: Two-and-a-half months after Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the Confederate ship Shenandoah committed the last offensive action of the Civil War by seizing 11 American whaling vessels in the Bering Strait, 75 miles west of what is now Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, AK.
June 29 1906: President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado. It contains the most notable and best preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings in the U.S.
June 30 1831: Lt. Robert E. Lee married Mary Custis, a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, at Arlington, her parents' home overlooking Washington, DC. It is now designated Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.
July 1 1862: Confederate forces under Gen. Robert E. Lee failed to check Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's escape to the James River in the Battle of Malvern Hill. With more than 8,000 casualties, this battle ended the Seven Days' Campaign around Richmond, Virginia. Richmond National Battlefield Park includes part of the battlefield.
July 2 1881: Charles J. Guiteau, a disappointed office-seeker, shot President James A. Garfield in the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, DC. The 20th president's home in Mentor, Ohio, is now the James A. Garfield National Historic Site.
July 3 1863: The Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George G. Meade repulsed the Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg National Military Park preserves the field of the three-day battle, sometimes termed "the high-water mark of the Confederacy."
July 4 1776: The Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in the Assembly Room of the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia. Later titled Independence Hall, the building is part of Independence National Historical Park, PA.
July 5 1787: A committee of the Constitutional Convention reported a compromise proposed by Roger Sherman of Connecticut on the issue of how many votes each state would have in Congress: states would be represented by population in the first house and would have equal votes in the second house. The convention met in Independence Hall in what is now Independence National Historical Park, PA.
July 6 1911: President William Howard Taft proclaimed Devils Postpile National Monument, California. Hot lava cooled and cracked here some 900,000 years ago to form basalt columns 40 to 60 feet high resembling a giant pipe organ.
July 7 1742: British troops under James Edward Oglethorpe turned back a Spanish advance on Frederica, a fortified town on the southern frontier of his Georgia colony, maintaining Britain's hold on the region north of Florida. Fort Frederica National Monument contains remnants of the town and the site of the Battle of Bloody Marsh.
July 8 1935: Emmet Graft and Karl Schmidt of radio station WHAS, Louisville, made the first underground radio broadcast in history from the Snowball Room in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky.
July 9 1864: At the Battle of Monocacy, Brig. Gen. Lew Wallace's Union troops delayed Gen. Jubal T. Early's Confederate advance on Washington, enabling other Union forces to marshal a successful defense of the capital. Monocacy National Battlefield, MD, preserves the site of the engagement.
July 10 1921: Benton MacKaye, a regional planner, proposed a long trail extending along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains and into New England. Completed from Mount Katahdin, Maine, to Springer Mountain, Georgia, in 1937, it was officially designated the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in 1968.
July 11 1804: Alexander Hamilton was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey, only two years after The Grange, his house across the Hudson in upper Manhattan, was completed. The house is now Hamilton Grange National Memorial.
July 12 1909: President William Howard Taft proclaimed Oregon Caves National Monument. Groundwater dissolving marble bedrock formed the cave passages and intricate flowstone formations in southwestern Oregon.
July 13 1843: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow married Frances Elizabeth Appleton, whose father bought them the Cambridge, Massachusetts, house in which Longfellow was lodging as a wedding gift. The poet spent the rest of his life at what is now Longfellow National Historic Site.
July 14 1864: Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest tried to cut the railroad supplying Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's march on Atlanta in the Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi. Tupelo National Battlefield preserves the scene of the fighting.
July 15 1867: Maggie L. Walker was born to a former slave in Richmond, Virginia. Her leadership in the economic development of Richmond's black community is commemorated at her later Richmond home, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.
July 16 1790: President George Washington approved legislation creating the District of Columbia and authorizing the purchase of land for federal buildings and parks, including such present National Park System units as the White House, the National Mall, and National Capital Parks.
July 17 1944: Two ships loading ammunition at Port Chicago Naval Weapons Station, California, accidentally exploded, killing 202 black sailors and 118 others in the greatest home-front tragedy of World War II. Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial in what is now Concord Naval Weapons Station commemorates the disaster.
July 18 1938: After taking off the day before from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, cleared for the West Coast, Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan landed his plane in Dublin, Ireland. (He blamed a faulty compass for his "mistake.") Floyd Bennett Field is now part of Gateway National Recreation Area.
July 19 1659: Geronimo de la Llana, the much-loved priest at the Mission of La Purisima Concepción de Curarac at Quarai, died. He was interred beneath the floor of the mission church. Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, NM, contains ruins of the Indian pueblo and Spanish mission at Quarai.
July 20 1848: After two days of debate in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel at Seneca Falls, New York, 100 men and women signed the Declaration of Sentiments calling for equal rights for women and men in the formation of laws, marriage, education, the professions, and the church. This First Women's Rights Convention is commemorated in Seneca Falls by Women's Rights National Historical Park.
July 21 1944: U.S. forces began to retake Guam after its occupation by Japan during World War II. War in the Pacific National Historical Park contains sites associated with the campaign.
July 22 1967: The poet Carl Sandburg died at Connemara, his farm in Flat Rock, North Carolina, where he had spent the last 22 years of his life. It became Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site a year later.
July 23 1885: Ulysses S. Grant died at Mt. McGregor, New York, four days after completing his memoirs. Grant's Tomb, now General Grant National Memorial, was built in New York City between 1892 and 1897.
July 24 1965: "The Hiker," a memorial to veterans of the Spanish-American War, was dedicated near Arlington National Cemetery on land within the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia.
July 25 1598: Don Juan de Oñate, who had recently founded the first Spanish settlement in New Mexico, visited Pecos Pueblo to demand its loyalty to the Spanish crown. Pecos National Historical Park, NM, contains the remains of the pueblo.
July 26 1777: A British and Indian force under Gen. Barry St. Leger left Oswego, New York, to besiege American-held Fort Stanwix; its defenders, under Col. Peter Ganesvoort, forced the British to withdraw after three weeks. Fort Stanwix National Monument in Rome, NY, contains a reconstruction of the fort.
July 27 1995: U.S. President Bill Clinton and President Kim Yong-sam of the Republic of Korea spoke at ceremonies dedicating the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.
July 28 1846: Brig. Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny's Army of the West, en route to the conquest of New Mexico via the Santa Fe Trail, arrived at Bent's Old Fort. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, CO, contains a reconstruction of the adobe fort and trading post.
July 29 1750: In a letter to Peter Collinson, Benjamin Franklin proposed the erection of an iron rod on a high tower or steeple to test the suspected identity of lightning and electricity. In 1972 Congress designated a colossal seated statue of Franklin in the rotunda of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia as the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.
July 30 1619: The first representative legislative assembly in North America met at the Jamestown Church--the beginning of representative government in America. The Jamestown portion of Colonial National Historical Park, VA, is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.
July 31 1909: President William Howard Taft proclaimed Mukuntuweap National Monument in southwestern Utah. Ten years later it was included in Zion National Park, featuring colorful canyon and mesa scenery.
August 1 1919: With permission granted by Congress in 1913 over strong opposition from John Muir and other park supporters, the city of San Francisco contracted to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. The dam, completed in 1923, and its reservoir became the greatest man-made intrusion in any national park.
August 2 1876: President Ulysses S. Grant approved legislation accepting the unfinished Washington Monument from its private sponsors and appropriating $2 million to complete it.
August 3 1907: The sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens died at Aspet, the country estate at Cornish, New Hampshire, where he had lived and worked since 1885. It is now Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site.
August 4 1735: In a notable victory for press freedom, a jury found John Peter Zenger not guilty of libel for publishing statements critical of New York's colonial governor in his newspaper. Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City occupies the site of the building in which the trial was held.
August 5 1852: Father John J. Bax, senior Jesuit priest at the Osage Indian Mission, died in the U.S. Army Hospital at Fort Scott, Indian Territory. Fort Scott National Historic Site, KS, interprets this history.
August 6 1990: President George Bush signed legislation enlarging the former Tumacacori National Monument in southern Arizona and retitling it Tumacacori National Historical Park. The park includes the historic Spanish mission church of San Jose de Tumacacori and the mission ruins of San Cayetano de Calabazas and Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi, founded by Padre Eusebio Kino in 1691.
August 7 1867: After purchasing Fort Union Trading Post on the upper Missouri River, the U.S. Army began to demolish it so its materials could be used in the construction of Fort Buford three miles downstream at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, on the North Dakota?Montana border, contains a reconstruction of the historic fur-trading depot.
August 8 1911: President William Howard Taft traveled to Paradise Valley in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. His touring car had to be dragged the final distance from Narada Falls by a mule team.
August 9 1877: The 7th U.S. Infantry under Col. John Gibbon clashed with Nez Perce Indians seeking to avoid reservation confinement at the Battle of the Little Big Hole. Big Hole National Battlefield, MT, preserves the site.
August 10 1927: The sculptor Gutzon Borglum began work on Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, and President Calvin Coolidge officially dedicated it as a national memorial. Work continued on Mount Rushmore National Memorial, featuring the heads of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, until 1941.
August 11 1857: Indian raiders shot and beheaded Col. Isaac Neff Ebey, who had led the first permanent white settlers to Whitbey Island, Washington Territory, in 1850. Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve, WA, contains his homesite and grave.
August 12 1940: The War Department transferred Fort Washington, built in the early 19th century to defend Washington from naval attack, to the National Park Service. Fort Washington Park, MD, across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, includes the masonry fort and recreational facilities.
August 13 1864: Union forces crossed the James River to launch their second Deep Bottom offensive against the Confederate outer defenses of Richmond, Virginia. The offensive proved a failure. Richmond National Battlefield Park includes several sites of Civil War action around the Confederate capital.
August 14 1937: The last mile of the Appalachian Trail was opened on Mount Sugarloaf, Maine. Extending some 2,000 miles from Mount Katahdin, Maine, to Springer Mountain, Georgia, the footpath was officially designated the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in 1968.
August 15 1869: Maj. John Wesley Powell, leading an expedition through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, arrived at the mouth of a stream he called the Bright Angel. Powell's expedition was the first scientific exploration of what is now Grand Canyon National Park, AZ.
August 16 1896: Gold was discovered near Dawson, Canada. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park comprises a building in Seattle and sites in and around Skagway, AK, associated with the rush to the gold fields.
August 17 1790: In a letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, President George Washington affirmed that the U.S. government "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance." The congregation's place of worship, designed by the noted architect Peter Harrison, was designated Touro Synagogue National Historic Site in 1946.
August 18 1587: Virginia Dare became the first English child born in the New World. Her birthplace, a settlement on Roanoke Island in Sir Walter Raleigh's Virginia colony, is now Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
August 19 1812: The U.S. frigate Constitution fought her most famous engagement of the War of 1812, sinking the British frigate Guerriere. "Old Ironsides" is berthed at the Charlestown Navy Yard unit of Boston National Historical Park, MA.
August 20 1969: President Richard Nixon signed legislation creating Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, CO. The area contains a wealth of fossil insects, seeds, and leaves and an unusual display of standing petrified sequoia stumps.
August 21 1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Historic Sites Act, which declared "a national policy to preserve for public use historic sites, buildings and objects of national significance for the inspiration and benefit of the people of the United States." Among its results is the National Park Service program of designating qualified properties as National Historic Landmarks.
August 22 1848: Capt. Ulysses S. Grant married Julia Dent in St. Louis, Missouri, after courting her at her family's farm outside the city, where the couple would live briefly after Grant resigned from the Army in 1854. The farm, called White Haven, is now Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site.
August 23 1932: Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved highway in the U.S. and the highest road in the National Park System, opened in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
August 24 1814: During the War of 1812, British forces occupied Washington and burned the White House in retaliation for the destruction of some Canadian public buildings by American troops. President James Madison was forced to evacuate, and more than three years elapsed before his successor, James Monroe, could reoccupy the mansion.
August 25 1916: President Woodrow Wilson approved an act of Congress creating the National Park Service and directing it "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life [in the national parks] and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."
August 26 1992: President George Bush signed legislation creating the Marsh-Billings National Historical Park in Woodstock, VT. The estate of pioneer conservationist George Perkins Marsh was reforested and scientifically farmed by Frederick Billings following Marsh's principles after 1869. Billings' granddaughter and her husband, Mary and Laurance S. Rockefeller, donated the property.
August 27 1908: Lyndon B. Johnson was born near Stonewall, Texas. After he became president he reconstructed his birth house, which is part of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.
August 28 1963: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his "I have a dream" speech from the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
August 29 1963: The Chamizal Treaty resolved a 99-year dispute over the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico in the El Paso?Juarez Valley. Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, TX, commemorates the peaceful settlement.
August 30 1862: Confederate forces under Gen. Robert E. Lee vanquished Maj. Gen. John Pope's Union army at the Second Battle of Manassas, opening the way for the South's first invasion of the North. Manassas National Battlefield Park, VA, preserves the scene of the three-day battle.
August 31 1930: The first elevator shaft was completed at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM.
September 1 1877: Frederick Douglass, ex-slave, abolitionist, and civil rights crusader, moved to a house in the Anacostia section of Washington, DC, that he named Cedar Hill; he died there in 1895. It is now Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.
September 2 1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park in ceremonies attended by several thousand people there at the Rockefeller Memorial on the North Carolina?Tennessee state line. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., had contributed more than $5 million to acquire land for the park.
September 3 1783: In Paris, John Adams signed the treaty with Great Britain officially ending the Revolutionary War. Adams' life and contributions are commemorated at Adams National Historic Site, containing his home in Quincy, MA.
September 4 1886: Warfare between the U.S. Army and Indian tribes ended with the surrender of Geronimo and his Apaches to Brig. Gen. Nelson A. Miles. Fort Bowie, now Fort Bowie National Historic Site in southeastern Arizona, was the focal point of military operations against Geronimo's band.
September 5 1604: The French explorer Samuel Champlain named Mount Desert Island on the Maine coast, where most of Acadia National Park is now located.
September 6 1869: Brig. Gen. John A. Rawlins, Ulysses S. Grant's aide-de-camp during the Civil War, died in Washington, DC, five months after President Grant appointed him secretary of war. He is honored by a statue in Rawlins Park, part of National Capital Parks in Washington.
September 7 1894: Heavyweight boxing champion "Gentleman Jim" Corbett fought Peter Courtney before Thomas A. Edison's motion picture camera in the "Black Maria" studio at Edison's laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. The laboratory and Glenmont, his nearby estate, now compose Edison National Historic Site.
September 8 1969: U.S. President Richard Nixon and Mexican President Diaz Ordaz dedicated Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande by meeting and embracing at the international boundary in the middle of the dam. The reservoir created by the dam is part of Amistad National Recreation Area, TX.
September 9 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating San Juan Island National Historical Park, WA. The park includes the sites of British and American army camps on San Juan Island in the 1860s, when the two nations disputed ownership of the island.
September 10 1813: Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's American fleet defeated a British fleet under Capt. Robert H. Barclay in the Battle of Lake Erie, enabling the U.S. to take control of the lake and most of the Old Northwest. Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, OH, commemorates the battle and the enduring peace between the two nations that followed the War of 1812.
September 11 1850: P. T. Barnum presented Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," in her American debut at Castle Garden, a converted fort at the tip of Manhattan Island. More than 6,000 people paid at least $3 to hear the famous singer. The old fort is now Castle Clinton National Monument, NY.
September 12 1943: U.S.S. Cassin Young was launched at the Boston Navy Yard; the destroyer saw Pacific action during World War II and remained in service until 1960. She has returned to be exhibited at the yard, now part of Boston National Historical Park.
September 13 1635: The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony banished Roger Williams for having questioned its right to legislate in religious matters. The following June Williams founded Providence, Rhode Island, where religious freedom was guaranteed to all faiths. He is commemorated there by Roger Williams National Memorial.
September 14 1901: Vice President Theodore Roosevelt became president upon the death of William McKinley, who had been shot by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, New York, on September 6. Roosevelt was inaugurated at the home of Ansley Wilcox in Buffalo, now Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.
September 15 1857: William Howard Taft, the only man ever to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the U.S., was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. William Howard Taft National Historic Site contains his birthplace and boyhood home.
September 16 1862: Union troops under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker struck Brig. Gen. John Hood's Confederates north of Sharpsburg, Maryland, at dusk in the opening skirmish of the Battle of Antietam. Antietam National Battlefield contains the scene of the fighting.
September 17 1862: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Union army repulsed the northern invasion of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederates at Antietam Creek, Maryland, but failed to pursue and destroy the southern army in its subsequent retreat across the Potomac. Antietam National Battlefield preserves the site of the Civil War's bloodiest day.
September 18 1861: Commodore Samuel Francis Du Pont was given command of all Civil War naval operations on the Atlantic coast below North Carolina. He soon captured Port Royal, South Carolina, and successfully blockaded much of the coast. Du Pont Circle in Washington, DC, part of National Capital Parks, contains a fountain by Daniel Chester French honoring the naval hero.
September 19 1863: The two-day Battle of Chickamauga, one of the bloodiest Civil War battles, began. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Georgia and Tennessee preserves the site of the Confederate victory, where Union Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas became the "Rock of Chickamauga" for his determined defense on the second day.
September 20 1565: Spanish troops from St. Augustine under Adm. Pedro Menéndez massacred most inhabitants of La Caroline, a French settlement established the year before on the St. Johns River to the north. The short-lived French attempt to contest Spain's claim to Florida is commemorated by Fort Caroline National Memorial, near the site of the colony.
September 21 1860: Nathaniel Hawthorne began to make numerous alterations to The Wayside, his home in Concord, Massachusetts, including the addition of a tower containing his study. The Wayside is now part of Minute Man National Historical Park.
September 22 1862: His hand strengthened by the Union Army's halting of the Confederate advance at Antietam Creek five days earlier, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation declaring that all slaves in places rebelling against the U.S. on January 1, 1863, would be deemed free. Antietam National Battlefield, MD, preserves the site of the victory that enabled this executive action.
September 23 1938: The federal government purchased the abandoned Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Washington, DC, and Maryland from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to redevelop it for public recreation as a Depression relief project. The National Park Service acquired additional land bordering the canal and adjacent Potomac River after Congress authorized the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in 1971.
September 24 1906: Making first use of an authority given presidents by the Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower National Monument to protect an 865-foot columnar remnant of a volcanic intrusion in northeastern Wyoming.
September 25 1780: "Over-mountain men" gathered under Colonels Charles McDowell, John Sevier, Isaac Shelby, and William Campbell at Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River in present-day Tennessee for their march to victory over loyalist troops in the Battle of Kings Mountain. Kings Mountain National Military Park, SC, preserves the Revolutionary War battlefield.
September 26 1959: During the first visit of a Soviet premier to the U.S., Nikita Khrushchev spent time with President Dwight D. Eisenhower at his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The farm is now preserved as Eisenhower National Historic Site.
September 27 1890: President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation creating Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. A wooded valley through the nation's capital, the park is a rare example of natural preservation in an urban setting.
September 28 1542: Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer in the service of Spain, landed in a harbor he named San Miguel, the site of modern San Diego. Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego commemorates his voyage of discovery.
September 29 1864: Union forces captured Confederate Fort Harrison, south of Richmond, Virginia, forcing the Confederates to realign the city's southern defenses. Fourteen black Union soldiers won the Medal of Honor for gallantry in the assault. Richmond National Battlefield Park includes well-preserved remains of the fort.
September 30 1935: Hoover Dam, the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, was dedicated four months after the last concrete was poured. The huge reservoir it impounded on the Colorado River in Arizona and Nevada became Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
October 1 1804: Russians and their Aleut allies began to attack and besiege a Tlingit Indian fort at Sitka, Alaska. Remnants of the fortified town they built after driving out the Tlingits a week later are preserved in Sitka National Historical Park.
October 2 1672: Spanish colonial officials broke ground for the Castillo de San Marcos, a coquina fort in St. Augustine, Florida, that would be largely completed by 1695. Later a U.S. Army post, it is now Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
October 3 1904: Mary McLeod Bethune opened the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in a small cottage in Daytona, Florida. Bethune's contributions to the education and advancement of African Americans are commemorated at Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site in Washington, DC.
October 4 1961: President John F. Kennedy approved legislation to create Piscataway Park on the Maryland bank of the Potomac River across from Mount Vernon. This ensured that the view enjoyed by George Washington would remain unspoiled by development.
October 5 1818: Nancy Hanks Lincoln died when her son Abraham was nine years old. The site of their home at the time, containing Nancy Lincoln's grave, is now Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, IN.
October 6 1972: Ceremonies in Munising, MI, marked the establishment of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the first national lakeshore.
October 7 1780: "Over-mountain men" soundly defeated a force of Loyalist Americans and killed their leader, British Maj. Patrick Ferguson, at the Battle of Kings Mountain, reversing British fortunes in the South during the Revolutionary War. Kings Mountain National Military Park, SC, contains the battlefield.
October 8 1888: At his West Orange, New Jersey, laboratory Thomas A. Edison signed a "caveat" (a type of preliminary patent) indicating that he was "experimenting upon an instrument which does for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear"--work that would result in the first motion picture camera. The laboratory and Glenmont, his nearby estate, now compose Edison National Historic Site.
October 9 1908: In one of the nation's first efforts to demonstrate and test a stabilized road surface, the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads completed more than two miles of a 14-foot-wide macadam road, known as the Object Lesson Road, through Cumberland Gap. The site is now within Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, at the junction of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.
October 10 1980: President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating Boston African American National Historic Site. It includes the African Meeting House, the oldest standing black church in the U.S., and other sites linked by Boston's Black Heritage Trail.
October 11 1809: Meriwether Lewis, co-leader of the famous transcontinental expedition of 1803-06, committed suicide at Grinder's Inn on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. His grave there lies within the Natchez Trace Parkway.
October 12 1826: The Franklin, Missouri, Intelligencer ran a notice offering a one-cent reward for the return of Christopher Carson, who had been bound to learn the saddler's trade in Franklin. Kit Carson went on to become a premier mountain man and would figure importantly in the stories of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail and Fort Union National Monument, NM.
October 13 1792: Freemasons and the commissioners of the District of Columbia laid the cornerstone for the White House. It would not be occupied until President John Adams moved there from Philadelphia in November 1800.
October 14 1890: Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas. His life and work are commemorated at Eisenhower National Historic Site, containing his farm in Gettysburg, PA.
October 15 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act. Under its authority the National Park Service has expanded the National Register of Historic Places to include properties of local, state, and regional significance as well as National Historic Landmarks and National Park System areas.
October 16 1970: President Richard Nixon signed legislation creating Fort Point National Historic Site in San Francisco. The classic brick and granite mid-19th-century coastal fort is the only one of its type on the west coast of the U.S.
October 17 1777: British Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne surrendered his army to Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates after the Americans checked his advance down the Hudson River at Saratoga, New York. Saratoga National Historical Park preserves the site of the battles that changed the course of the Revolutionary War.
October 18 1859: U.S. marines under U.S. Army Col. Robert E. Lee and Lt. J.E.B. Stuart captured John Brown and four surviving followers at the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, which they had raided for arms to equip a slave revolt. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, WV, preserves the site.
October 19 1781: British forces under Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington's American forces and their French allies at Yorktown, Virginia, in the last military engagement of the American Revolution. Yorktown Battlefield is part of Colonial National Historical Park.
October 20 1964: Ex-president Herbert Hoover died in New York City and was buried five days later near his birthplace cottage in West Branch, Iowa. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site contains the birthplace and grave.
October 21 1872: Arbitrating the disputed international boundary through the straits between Washington Territory and Vancouver's Island, Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany decided that San Juan Island belonged to the U.S. rather than Great Britain. San Juan Island National Historical Park, WA, includes the sites of the British and American army occupations on the island during the preceding 12 years.
October 22 1887: Augustus Saint-Gaudens' heroic statue of Abraham Lincoln was unveiled in Chicago's Lincoln Park. Saint-Gaudens modeled his "Standing Lincoln" at his home studio in Cornish, New Hampshire, now Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site.
October 23 1880: Guided by Cochiti Indians, Adolph F. Bandelier made his first entry into Frijoles Canyon. He later described the canyon and its prehistoric villages and cliff dwellings as "the grandest thing I ever saw." The canyon is now within Bandelier National Monument, NM.
October 24 1852: Daniel Webster died after a notable career as a lawyer, U.S. senator, and secretary of state. He is commemorated in Washington, DC, by a 30-foot bronze statue in National Capital Parks.
October 25 1949: President Harry S Truman proclaimed Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa. It contains outstanding examples of prehistoric Indian mounds, some in the shapes of birds and bears.
October 26 1804: The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at one of the Mandan and Minitari Indian villages near the confluence of the Knife and Missouri rivers, where they camped until the following spring. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, ND, contains remains of these villages.
October 27 1858: Theodore Roosevelt was born in a brownstone house in New York City. Demolished in 1916, it was reconstructed in 1923 and became Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site in 1962.
October 28 1886: President Grover Cleveland and other dignitaries unveiled and dedicated Auguste Bartholdi's colossal sculpture, "Liberty Enlightening the World," in New York Harbor. It was designated Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1924.
October 29 1862: Soldiers of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry en route to Fort Scott, Kansas, participated in the Battle of Island Mound, Missouri, becoming the first African American soldiers from a northern state to engage Confederate soldiers in combat during the Civil War. Fort Scott National Historic Site interprets this history.
October 30 1735: John Adams, who would become the second president of the U.S., was born in Braintree (later Quincy), Massachusetts. The house in which he was born is part of Adams National Historic Site.
October 31 1988: President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating Poverty Point National Monument, LA. It contains some of the largest prehistoric earthworks in North America from a culture that flourished in the first and second millennia B.C.
November 1 1948: President Harry S Truman made a radio broadcast from the living room of his home in Independence, Missouri, on the eve of the election in which he upset New York governor Thomas E. Dewey to win a full term as president. The home is now Harry S Truman National Historic Site.
November 2 1772: At a town meeting in Boston's Faneuil Hall, Samuel Adams organized the extralegal Committee of Correspondence, a precursor of the union of American colonies that would enable the American Revolution. Faneuil Hall is now part of Boston National Historical Park.
November 3 1840: President Martin Van Buren was defeated for reelection by William Henry Harrison. He returned to Kinderhook, New York, and took up residence at Lindenwald, an estate near his birthplace. It is now Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.
November 4 1842: Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married and began housekeeping in Springfield, Illinois. Two years later Lincoln bought a house at Eighth and Jackson streets where they lived until he became president. It is now the centerpiece of Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
November 5 1872: In Rochester, New York, Susan B. Anthony illegally cast a ballot in the 1872 presidential election to publicize the cause of women's suffrage. Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY, interprets the long struggle for women's rights.
November 6 1944: Running for his fourth presidential term, Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast his last campaign speech from his home office at Hyde Park, New York. The office is displayed at Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.
November 7 1910: The first airplane to carry freight departed for Columbus, Ohio, from Huffman Prairie Flying Field in Dayton, now part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
November 8 1932: Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York defeated President Herbert Hoover in the first of four presidential elections he would win. Roosevelt voted from his home at Hyde Park, now Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.
November 9 1863: President Abraham Lincoln visited Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, to see the play "The Marble Heart," starring John Wilkes Booth. Booth would play another role when Lincoln revisited the theater on April 14, 1865. The theater and the house across the street where Lincoln died after his assassination now compose Ford's Theatre National Historic Site.
November 10 1865: Confederate Army Captain Henry Wirz, commander of the notorious Andersonville Prison, was hanged in Washington, DC, for "impairing and injuring the lives of large numbers of Federal prisoners" and for "Murder, in violation of the laws and customs of wars." Andersonville National Historic Site, GA, at the site of the prison, commemorates all American prisoners of war.
November 11 1984: Following the addition of a sculpture group by Frederick Hart near Maya Ling Yin's V-shaped wall, President Ronald Reagan accepted the completed Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, for the United States.
November 12 1930: John Lorenzo Hubbell died after having operated trading posts on the Navajo Indian Reservation for more than 50 years. One of them near Ganado, Arizona, remains in operation as Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site.
November 13 1982: Dedication ceremonies were held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, bearing the names of more than 58,000 members of the U.S. armed forces killed or missing in action.
November 14 1493: On Christopher Columbus's second voyage to the New World, members of his expedition landed on St. Croix Island in the Virgin Islands and battled a small group of Indians. Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve includes the landing site, the only place under U.S. jurisdiction where Columbus's men are known to have set foot.
November 15 1777: The Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation as the first constitution of the United States while meeting in Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania State House, later known as Independence Hall. It is now the focal point of Independence National Historical Park.
November 16 1821: After meeting with Gov. Facundo Melgares the day before, William Becknell began the first legal international trade on the Santa Fe Trail. The Santa Fe National Historic Trail includes remnants of the route.
November 17 1933: The Historic American Buildings Survey was initiated within the National Park Service. Organized under an agreement with the American Institute of Architects and the Library of Congress, it was the first comprehensive program to record America's historic buildings.
November 18 1988: President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating City of Rocks National Reserve, ID. It features scenic granite spires, sculptured rock formations, and remnants of the California Trail.
November 19 1863: President Abraham Lincoln dedicated the Gettysburg National Cemetery with his immortal Gettysburg Address. The cemetery is part of Gettysburg National Military Park, PA.
November 20 1969: Fourteen American Indians landed on Alcatraz, beginning a protracted Indian occupation of the island to win support for their causes. Alcatraz is now part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA.
November 21 1925: President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Lava Beds National Monument, California. Lava and molten rock from volcanic activity here created a natural fortress used by the Modoc Indians in the Modoc War of 1872?73.
November 22 1595: A fleet led by English privateer Sir Francis Drake attacked Puerto Rico but was repelled after four days by its Spanish defenders. El Morro, one of the coastal defenses, is part of San Juan National Historic Site.
November 23 1944: From his European headquarters, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower appealed to Americans to subscribe to the Sixth War Loan and "transform the money quickly into vital fighting equipment." Eisenhower's military and civilian leadership are commemorated at Eisenhower National Historic Site, containing his farm at Gettysburg, PA.
November 24 1869: The U.S. Army established the post of Southeast Kansas with its headquarters at Fort Scott to protect railroad construction through eastern Kansas to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Fort Scott National Historic Site interprets this history.
November 25 1863: Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas's Army of the Cumberland assaulted Confederate rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge east of Chattanooga, then scaled the heights in one of the great charges of the Civil War. The Confederates' withdrawal brought Chattanooga and most of Tennessee under Union control. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park includes sites associated with the siege and battle of Chattanooga.
November 26 1950: Chinese Communist forces opened a massive counteroffensive against United Nations forces in Korea, forcing them to retreat south toward the 38th parallel. The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, honors those Americans who served in the three-year conflict.
November 27 1868: Having moved south from Fort Larned, Kansas, Lt. Col. George A. Custer's 7th Cavalry defeated Black Kettle's Cheyennes at the Battle of the Washita, ending the organized Indian threat to white settlers in the area. Fort Larned National Historic Site interprets the role of the frontier Army there.
November 28 1777: The Continental Congress elected John Adams commissioner to France, where he lived in Paris with Benjamin Franklin and solicited French support for the American Revolution. Adams National Historic Site preserves his home in Quincy, MA.
November 29 1847: A band of Cayuse Indians attacked Narcissa and Marcus Whitman's Protestant mission at Waiilatpu, Oregon, killing the Whitmans and 11 others and leading settlers in the Willamette and lower Columbia valleys to wage war against the Cayuse. Whitman Mission National Historic Site preserves the site.
November 30 1915: President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Walnut Canyon National Monument, Arizona. It features Pueblo Indian cliff dwellings built around 1200.
December 1 1779: Gen. George Washington arrived in Morristown, New Jersey, where his Continental Army encamped for a second winter during the Revolutionary War. Morristown National Historical Park contains the Ford Mansion that served as Washington's headquarters and the site of the troops' winter quarters.
December 2 1763: The Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, led by Rabbi Isaac Touro, dedicated their new synagogue, designed by the noted architect Peter Harrison. Its historical and architectural significance prompted its designation as Touro Synagogue National Historic Site in 1946.
December 3 1779: The Pennsylvania Assembly paid cabinetmaker John Folwell for fashioning a replacement for its speaker's chair, destroyed during the British occupation of Philadelphia in the American Revolution. The "Rising Sun Chair," occupied by George Washington when presiding over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, is the most historic piece of furniture in Independence National Historical Park.
December 4 1765: Zephaniah Kingsley, who would become a major planter and slaveholder on Fort George Island, Florida, was born. The remains of his plantation, including slave quarters, are now part of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.
December 5 1935: Mary McLeod Bethune became president of the National Council of Negro Women, a position she held until 1949. Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site in Washington, DC, commemorates her life and work.
December 6 1884: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed an aluminum-tipped capstone weighing 3,300 pounds atop the Washington Monument, completing it to its height of 555 feet.
December 7 1941: Japanese naval air forces launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, precipitating America's entry into World War II. The USS Arizona, one of 21 vessels sunk or damaged in the attack, suffered the greatest loss of life in American naval history with 1,177 sailors and marines killed. American casualties on Oahu are commemorated at the USS Arizona Memorial.
December 8 1805: After sighting the Pacific Ocean, members of the Lewis and Clark expedition began building the log fort near the mouth of the Columbia River in which they would spend the winter of 1805-06. Fort Clatsop National Memorial, OR, contains a reconstruction of the fort near its site.
December 9 1914: A fire at Thomas A. Edison's laboratory and industrial complex in West Orange, New Jersey, destroyed most of the industrial facilities but spared the original 1887 laboratory buildings; Edison rebuilt within six months. The laboratory and Glenmont, his nearby estate, now compose Edison National Historic Site.
December 10 1896: After service as a fort, entertainment pavilion, and immigrant depot, the structure at the tip of Manhattan Island successively known as Castle Clinton and Castle Garden reopened as the New York City Aquarium. It is now Castle Clinton National Monument.
December 11 1862: Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's Union army crossed the Rappahannock River to launch the Battle of Fredericksburg, which ended two days later in Gen. Robert E. Lee's most one-sided Civil War victory. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park, VA, contains the battlefield.
December 12 1862: The Union ironclad gunboat Cairo became the first vessel in history to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine as it steamed up the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg, Mississippi, to destroy Confederate batteries and clear channel obstructions. Its salvaged remains are displayed at Vicksburg National Military Park.
December 13 1890: The first issue of Paul Laurence Dunbar's newspaper, The Dayton Tattler, was printed by Wilbur and Orville Wright in their printing shop, now part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, OH.
December 14 1902: Julia Dent Grant, Ulysses S. Grant's widow, died. She was interred beside her husband in Grant's Tomb, later designated General Grant National Memorial, in New York City.
December 15 1791: The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, took effect while Congress met in Philadelphia's Congress Hall, now part of Independence National Historical Park.
December 16 1773: Bostonians met at Old South Meeting House to consider a new British tax on tea, after which a group boarded three ships in the nearby harbor and dumped their tea cargoes overboard. The "Boston Tea Party" caused Parliament to close the port of Boston, bringing the American colonies a step closer to rebellion. Old South Meeting House is now part of Boston National Historical Park.
December 17 1903: Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first sustained flight in a heavier-than-air machine at Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. Wright Brothers National Memorial commemorates the epochal event there.
December 18 1944: In Korematsu v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime exclusion of persons of Japanese descent from the West Coast. Manzanar National Historic Site, CA, contains the remains of one of the camps in which they were interned.
December 19 1777: George Washington's Continental Army marched into its winter encampment at Valley Forge, now Valley Forge National Historical Park, PA.
December 20 1935: Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes designated the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri, recognizing President Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase and the westward movement that followed. Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch was completed there in 1965.
December 21 1857: Companies E and F of the 1st Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Samuel Sturgis, arrived at Fort Scott, Kansas, to quell the civil strife over slavery called "Bleeding Kansas." Fort Scott National Historic Site interprets this history.
December 22 1932: President Herbert Hoover proclaimed Grand Canyon National Monument, Arizona, to protect land adjoining Grand Canyon National Park. Congress acted to incorporate it into the park in 1975.
December 23 1865: Col. Christopher "Kit" Carson of the First New Mexico Cavalry became the commanding officer of Fort Union, New Mexico Territory. Fort Union National Monument preserves remnants of the frontier post.
December 24 1914: Conservationist John Muir, a strong national park advocate, died in Los Angeles. He was buried at his ranch near Martinez, California, now John Muir National Historic Site.
December 25 1779: While George Washington was wintering at Morristown, New Jersey, with his Continental Army, the house in which he had been born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, was destroyed by fire. A "memorial mansion" intended to resemble the birth house was completed at George Washington Birthplace National Monument in 1932.
December 26 1738: Thomas Nelson, Jr., was born at Yorktown, Virginia. He became a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a governor of Virginia, and commander of the Virginia militia at the siege of Yorktown in 1781. His home, which bears artillery scars from the siege, is part of Colonial National Historical Park.
December 27 1894: President Grover Cleveland signed legislation creating Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee. It preserves the field of a two-day battle in April 1862, one of the largest engagements in the western theater of the Civil War.
December 28 1961: President John F. Kennedy proclaimed Buck Island Reef National Monument in the Virgin Islands. The park boasts the finest marine garden in the Caribbean, visited by an underwater nature trail.
December 29 1808: Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln's successor as president, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville, TN, contains two of his later homes, his tailor shop, and his grave.
December 30 1937: Eugene O'Neill moved into Tao House, his "final home and harbor," in Danville, California. Here he wrote his most personal and powerful plays including The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten. Tao House is now the centerpiece of Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site.
December 31 1987: President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating El Malpais National Monument, NM. The spectacular volcanic area features spatter cones, a 17-mile-long lava tube system, ice caves, and Pueblo Indian remains.