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        Images from the National Parks | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        View images from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier to Kings Canyon and Glacier Bay. As the United States grew and its population expanded and settled westward, regions of the country that displayed natural beauty and ecological diversity became a source of pride. An idea formed that these areas should be maintained and protected for all to enjoy as part of the country’s heritage. This idea would develop into the National Park System over the next 150 years. There are now 58 National Parks and 333 National Monuments and Historic Sites in the United States. 

        Tourists at Muir Glacier, Glacier Bay, Alaska, 1893 | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        John Muir first brought Glacier Bay to the nation's attention in 1879. It became a national monument in 1925 and a National Park in 1980. Photo credit: Frank LaRoche, 1893. Source: Glacier Photo. Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado.

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        George Masa Landscape of the Mitchell and Linville Ranges, Smoky Mountains | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        George Masa, a Japanese immigrant, helped the crusade to create Great Smoky Mountains National Park with his scenic photographs of the region. Source: Chandler Gordon, The Captain's Bookshelf, Inc., Asheville, North Carolina.

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        Ranger Leads Tourists on Nature Walk, Mount Rainier National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Stephen Mather promoted park rangers as the living symbols of the National Parks and expanded their role from simply protecting the Parks to interpreting them for the tourists. Source: Harpers Ferry, National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection.

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        Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        First John Muir, then Stephen Mather, called for a National Park in the Kings Canyon region of California's Sierra Nevada. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes got it done in 1940. Ickes had wanted a roadless wilderness park named in Muir's honor. Source: Harpers Ferry, NPS Historic Photo. Collection.

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        Klapatche Park, Mount Rainier National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Klapatche Park, Mount Rainier National Park. Photo credit: Bob & Ira Spring. Source: National Archives & Records Administration.

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        Sunset, Grand Canyon National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Sunset in Grand Canyon National Park. Source: Craig Mellish, Florentine Films.

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        Rainbow from South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Rainbow from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Source: Craig Mellish, Florentine Films.

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        Sunset on the Pacific, Olympic National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Sunset on the Pacific at Olympic National Park. Source: Craig Mellish, Florentine Films.

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        Mount Rainier National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Mountain Rainier National Park. Source: Craig Mellish, Florentine Films.

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