We celebrate National Park Service Founders Day today with this photo from the John Muir Trail near Mammoth Lakes in California. The 210-mile trail is so long, to hike it all would take you through three national parks: Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. At 102 years old, the National Park Service continues to do the day-to-day work of preserving our parks ‘for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.’
Customer service: +1 4068887800
Founded: Aug 25, 1916
Founders: Woodrow Wilson · Theodore Roosevelt · Horace M. Albright · Stephen Mather
Parent organization: United States Department of the Interior
Subsidiaries: National Register of Historic Places · United States Park Police
Agency executive: Mike Reynolds, Acting Director
In 1916, a portfolio of nine major parks was published to generate interest. Printed on each brochure was a map showing the parks and principal railroad connections.
Also on this day,
1835 | The New York Sun publishes a story of utter lunacy
‘Great Astronomical Discoveries Lately Made,’ reads the New York Sun’s headline, claiming the discovery, via an enormous telescope, of a surreal civilization on the moon. Reports of man-bats, unicorns, and goats living in a verdant paradise are unfortunately later proven to be a hoax.1939 | Dorothy Gale goes somewhere over the rainbow in ‘Wizard of Oz’
L. Frank Baum’s children’s story comes to the silver screen as MGM’s big-budget film version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ opens in theaters across America. A box-office disappointment, the tale of Dorothy’s trip from Kansas to the Emerald City will grow in popularity through re-releases and TV broadcasts.1945 | Chinese communists kill US intelligence officer John Birch
US missionary and intelligence officer John Birch is shot near Xi’an while traveling to meet with Allied POWs 10 days after Japan’s WWII surrender. Considered the first fatality of the Cold War, he will inspire American conservatives 13 years later to establish the John Birch Society in his honor.1950 | A tennis trailblazer breaks a racial barrier
Tennis player Althea Gibson celebrates her 23rd birthday on the same day she makes history as the first African American to play in the US National Championship. A record crowd watches as she competes in Forest Hills, New York, in the tournament that will be later called the US Open.
The "Great Moon Hoax" refers to a series of six articles that were published in The Sun, a New York newspaper, beginning on August 25, 1835, about the supposed discovery of life and even civilization on the Moon. The discoveries were falsely attributed to Sir John Herschel, one of the best-known contemporary astronomers of that time.
The story was advertised on August 21, 1835, as an upcoming feature allegedly reprinted from The Edinburgh Courant. The first in a series of six was published four days later on August 25.
Born: May 28, 1918 · Landour, India
Died: Aug 25, 1945 · Xi'an, China
Education: Mercer UniversityHighlights
- 1939: He graduated from Gore High School in Chattooga County, followed by Georgia Baptist–affiliated Mercer University in 1939 magna cum laude.
- 1940: Arriving in Shanghai which was in Japanese occupied territory in July 1940, he began an intensive study of Mandarin Chinese.
- 1941: In October 1941, he left Hangzhou for Shangrao in "Free China."
- 1942: In April 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle and his crew bailed out in China after the Tokyo raid.
- 1943: Birch served with the China Air Task Force, which became the Fourteenth Air Force on 5 March 1943, and was later seconded to the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
- 1945: U.S. Senator William F. Knowland attempted unsuccessfully to obtain posthumous awards for Birch which included the Distinguished Service Cross, but these were not approved on the grounds that the United States was not at war with the Communist Chinese in 1945.
Lived: Aug 25, 1927 - Sep 28, 2003 (age 76)
Height: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
Grand Slam titles (singles): 6
Spouse: Sydney Llewellyn (m. 1983 - 1988) · Will Darben (m. 1965 - 1976)
Movies: The Horse Soldiers
Education: Florida A&M UniversityHighlights
- 1941: In 1941 she entered—and won—her first tournament, the American Tennis Association (ATA) New York State Championship.
- 1957: On opening night of the 2007 U.S. Open, the 50th anniversary of her first victory at its predecessor, the U.S. Championships, in 1957, Gibson was inducted into the US Open Court of Champions.
- 1959: In 1959 she signed to play a series of exhibition matches against Karol Fageros before Harlem Globetrotter basketball games.
- 1960: In 1960 her first memoir, I Always Wanted to Be Somebody, written with sportswriter Ed Fitzgerald, was published.
- 1980: In 1980 Gibson became one of the first six inductees into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame, placing her on par with such pioneers as Amelia Earhart, Wilma Rudolph, Gertrude Ederle, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, and Patty Berg.
- 1983: In 1983 she married Sydney Llewellyn, her coach during her peak tennis years.