On a quiet morning 76 years ago today, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,100 more wounded. Twenty-one ships of the Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged, including the USS Arizona. Shocked and angered by the attack, the country joined the Allied forces to fight World War II, inspired by the call of “Remember Pearl Harbor.” A moving reminder of the service and sacrifice of those who fought, the USS Arizona Memorial is jointly administered by the U.S. Navy and the National Park Service. Photo by National Park Service.
Here are some fall colors that won’t fade away. At Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, 200-million-year-old petrified logs lie strewn across rolling clay hills. Each piece is like a giant quartz crystal. As impurities like iron and carbon oxidized, they permanently colored these ancient trees shades of red, yellow and purple. It’s a rare and beautiful sight that you’ve got to see for yourself. Photo by National Park Service.
On Veterans Day, we say thank you to all the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Memorials across the country honor our brave veterans and make sure that we never forget their dedication and sacrifice. Photo of the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. courtesy of Nathan Jones.
On this day in 1781, British forces under General Charles Lord Cornwallis marched across the Yorktown Battlefield in Virginia to surrender to General George Washington, effectively ending the Revolutionary War. More than five years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, Washington’s army finally achieved the decisive victory that would guarantee our nation’s future. Visit the now peaceful battlefield to learn more about this dramatic moment in our history. Photo at Colonial National Historical Park – Yorktown Battlefield by James Gramm (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in Alaska erupts with color during the short fall season. You can find more than gorgeous views and amazing wildlife here, though. Field research continues to uncover evidence of prehistoric animals and the first people to settle the continent. Photo by Katie Cullen, National Park Service.
There’s no better place to be inspired by American history than the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. Walking among the historic buildings and statues, you can learn lessons from our greatest leaders and hear about the sacrifices of Americans in times of war. The Washington Monument serves as the centerpiece of the nation’s capital, rising over 555 feet tall and honoring the commanding general of the Revolutionary Army and the first President of the United States: George Washington. Photo courtesy of Drew Geraci.
Today marks the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. With over 23,000 combined casualties suffered by both the Union and Confederate armies, it remains the bloodiest day in American history. It’s hard to imagine the horror that ravaged this Maryland community when you walk the now peaceful fields of Antietam National Battlefield. Photo by National Park Service.
It used to be much harder to send a selfie. In the 1860s, riders carried the mail from Missouri to California – covering 1,800 miles in 10 days. Today, visitors can explore sections of this famous mail route along the Pony Express National Historic Trail and learn about the challenges faced by the young men who kept the coasts connected. It might have been dangerous work, but you couldn’t beat the views. Photo from a section of the trail in Utah by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management (@mypubliclands).
In the last four years of the 19th century, over 100,000 prospectors flooded into the Klondike region of Alaska and Canada looking for gold. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park not only tells the stories of these pioneers, it preserves 13,000 acres of historic sites and stunning wilderness. Traveling the trails is like going back in time. Photo by C. Anderson, National Park Service.
On this day in 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado to “preserve the works of man.” It was the first national park of its kind, created to protect not just the natural beauty of the area but also the priceless cultural treasures found there. Mesa Verde preserves nearly 5,000 archaeological sites, including Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in the park. Visitors can explore these ancient buildings and imagine what life was like for the people who built them. Photo by Scott Reynolds (www.sharetheexperience.org).