The National Park Service Organic Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on this date 100 years ago.
It created the National Park Service and established its jurisdiction in the Department of the Interior. The NPS was mandated “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, 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.” In the 1930s, historic sites such as the battlefield at Gettysburg and presidential homes were added to its mandate.
Stephen Mather, a businessman who had lobbied for the creation of some sort of agency to protect the national parks, which were deteriorating and had become the site of hunters freely roaming and poaching endangered wildlife, became the first director of the NPS the next year, a position he held for more than a decade.
As of today, 84 million acres are in national parks and 27,000 historical buildings are protected.
Further, visiting the National Parks and National Memorial Parks is free: the parks are open during daylight hours. If a tour is required, those have fees associated, but being on the grounds of the parks and memorials is free. There are many national parks in the Mid-Hudson Valley, where I grew up; many hours of my childhood were spent on their grounds.
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Sir Elton John made his American performing debut at the Troubadour in West Hollywood 46 years ago today. His album, Elton John, had attracted industry attention, and the audience was largely composed of well-known musicians. Neil Diamond introduced him with these words: “Folks, I’ve never done this before, so please be kind to me. I’m like the rest of you; I’m here because of having listened to Elton John’s album. So I’m going to take my seat with you now and enjoy the show.”
Elton John performed “Your Song” with no introduction and gave a non-flashy show. In 1990, Rolling Stone magazine listed this and the five shows that followed at the Troubadour from this little-known English singer-songwriter as one of the 20 most important concerts in rock history.
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“Nissin Chikin Ramen” was introduced to the market on this date in 1958. Nissin Foods’ founder, Momofuku Ando, is credited with the invention, for which every college student owes him a debt of gratitude, or maybe just $1.00 for a block of six packages.
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Friedrich Nietzsche died on this date in 1900. Truman Capote died on this date in 1984. Senator Ted Kennedy died seven years ago today. Neil Armstrong died four years ago today.
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Leonard Bernstein was born on this date in 1918.
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Monty Hall is 95 today. Sir Sean Connery is 86. Regis Philbin is 85. Tom Skerritt is 83. Wayne Shorter is 83. Frederick Forsyth is 78. Anthony Heald is 72. Rollie Fingers is 70. Gene Simmons is 67. Martin Amis is 67. Rob Halford is 65. Elvis Costello is 62. Tim Burton is 58. Billy Ray Cyrus is 55. Claudia Schiffer is 46.
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