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        Yosemite National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        View images of photographer Ansel Adams, biologist George Wright, John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, as well as tourists and park vistas taken at Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is located in Northern California. The area was home to the Ahwaneechee Indians for thousands of years before white men arrived. Beginning in the mid-1800s, Yosemite became a tourist destination. Visitors were drawn to the region’s awe-inspiring landscape, which includes cliffs, glaciers, waterfalls, wilderness, and giant, ancient sequoia trees that stretch more than 200 feet into the air. The area was declared a National Park in 1890, through the efforts of conservationists like John Muir. 

        Ansel Adams, Yosemite National Park, 1950 | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Through his photographs, Ansel Adams helped popularize the National Parks as never before. His photos of the Kings Canyon area prompted FDR to make it a National Park. Adams later became a fierce opponent of road-building in the Parks. Source: Yosemite National Park Museum, Archives and Library.

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        Tourist at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, ca. 1902 | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Glacier Point became one of the premier attractions for surveying the panorama of Yosemite Valley, 3,254 feet below. Yosemite Falls is in the background. Photo credit: Underwood & Underwood. Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

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        Tourists at Eagle Rock, Overlooking Yosemite Valley, ca. 1902 | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        A man and woman lounge on Eagle Rock in Yosemite National Park. Half Dome and Nevada Falls are in the background. Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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        Soldiers Guarding Yosemite National Park, 1899 | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Prior to the creation of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army was in charge of protecting the handful of National Parks. Here, members of Troop F, Sixth Cavalry, pose at the Fallen Monarch, a giant sequoia in Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove. Source: Yosemite National Park Museum, Archives and Library.

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        Early Tourists in Front of Yosemite Falls, ca. 1880 | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Early tourists had to endure a grueling three-day trek by foot or horseback to reach Yosemite Valley and its spectacular array of waterfalls. Yosemite Falls is in the background. Source: Yosemite National Park Museum, Archives and Library.

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        The Wawona Tunnel Tree, Yosemite National Park, ca. 1904| Ken Burns: The National Parks

        One of the most popular tourist attractions at Yosemite's Mariposa Grove was the Wawona Tunnel Tree, where tourists posed for pictures—in wagons, then automobiles—from the 1880s into the 1960s. The tunnel weakened the giant tree roots, and it fell during the winter of 1968-1969. Source: Ted Orland.

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        Yosemite Valley | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Yosemite Valley in Winter, Yosemite National Park. Source: QT Luong / Terra Galleria.

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        George Melendez Wright at Yosemite National Park | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Park Service biologist George Melendez Wright undertook the first scientific study of Park wildlife and plant conditions, and proposed new policies to let nature take its course. He died in a tragic accident at age 31, but his ideas prevailed. Source: Harpers Ferry, NPS Historic Photo. Collection.

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        Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, 1903 | Ken Burns: The National Parks

        Theodore Roosevelt did more for the National Parks than any other president. In 1903, he spent three nights camping in the Yosemite Valley with the other great champion of the Parks, John Muir. It was, said Roosevelt, "the grandest day of my life." Source: The Library of Congress.

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