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        Writers, Leaders, Conservationists, and Scientists | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        View images of National Park supporters like George Dorr, Horace Albright, Stephen Mather, and John Muir. See images of scientists who studied the parks, like Adolph Murie and George Wright. Artists, like George Masa and Horace Kephart, and inspired political figures, like Martin Luther King and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The creation of America’s National Parks was an idea that grew out of a sense of pride in the country’s ecological and geographic diversity. The park system would never be a reality if not for the passion and dedication of the conservationists, philanthropists, scientists, artists, and tourists who believed in the idea. 

        George Dorr, Acadia National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        George Dorr standing on edge of a rock on a cliff in Acadia National Park. Source: Acadia National Park.

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        Horace Albright at Grand Canyon National | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Horace Albright dressed standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, July 11, 1915. Albright helped Stephen Mather create the National Park Service in 1916 and later became the agency's second director. Source: Marian Albright Schenk.

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        Horace Albright and Bears | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Official park regulations discouraged tourists from feeding bears, but even Horace Albright (Yellowstone Superintendent, later National Park Service Director) realized what a popular attraction they were. Source: Marian Albright Schenk.

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        John Muir Portrait | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        John Muir stands beside a giant sequoia tree. Source: Harper's Ferry National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection.

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        Stephen Mather and Horace Albright | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Stephen Mather and Horace Albright stand with other rangers at the dedication of Yosemite Post Office, Yosemite National Park, 1925. Source: Yosemite National Park Museum, Archives and Library.

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        Stephen Mather | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Stephen Mather, a wealthy businessman, mobilized public support in for creation of the National Park Service, whose responsibility would be protecting the Parks. He became its first director. Source: Harper's Ferry Center, Historic Photo Collection.

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        Stephen Mather | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Mather combined a flair for promotion with a deep belief in the value of National Parks for building better citizens. He called them the "vast schoolrooms of Americanism" and joined forces with the budding automobile craze to make them accessible to more people. Source: Marian Albright Schenck.

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        John Muir at Petrified Forest National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Muir worried that the petrified trees, some more than 200 million years old, would be destroyed to make industrial abrasives and carted off for table tops. He persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to declare them a national monument. Source: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

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        Franklin D. Roosevelt With Civilian Conservation Corps Works | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        FDR, Harold Ickes, and others sit with Civilian Conservation Corps workers at Big Meadows on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. The National Parks were one of the principal beneficiaries of Roosevelt's New Deal policies. Source: Harper's Ferry Center, Historic Photo Collection.

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        Adolph Murie in Igloo Canyon | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Park biologist Murie conducted the first in-depth study of wolves at Denali National Park. He concluded they were essential to the ecological equilibrium of the area, and should be protected, not eliminated. Source: Denali National Park.

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        Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        The Lincoln Memorial became part of the National Parks system in 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt expanded the Park idea to include historical sites. Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech took place there in 1963. Source: Harper's Ferry Center, Historic Photo Collection.

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        Protesters in Alaska | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        President Jimmy Carter's 1978 decision to invoke the Antiquities Act to save huge portions of Alaska from development sparked furious opposition in the state. A 1980 legislative compromise resulted in seven new National Parks in Alaska. Source: University of Alaska Fairbanks, Archives.

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        George Masa Photographing the Great Smoky Mountains | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        The scenic photographs of George Masa, a Japanese immigrant, helped the crusade to create Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He and the writer Horace Kephart became best friends. Source: George Ellison.

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        George Melendez Wright with Maria ("Totuya") Lebrado | Ken Burns: The Natioanl Parks

        When Totuya, the last survivor of the 1851 expulsion of the Ahwahneechees, returned to her former Yosemite Valley homeland in 1929, Park Service biologist George Melendez Wright served as her translator. Source: Pam Wright Lloyd.

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        Writer Horace Kephart in the Great Smokies | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        The writer Horace Kephart had retreated from civilization in the Great Smokies, but became concerned that the magnificent forests were being destroyed by loggers. He and photographer George Masa became best friends. Source: NC Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, NC.

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        Adolph Murie At McGonagall Pass | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Adolph Murie at McGonagall Pass, Mt. McKinley (later Denali) National Park, 1939. Source: Murie Center.

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