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The Bible is the best of all books, 
for it is the word of God and teaches 
us the way to be happy in this world 
and in the next. Continue therefore 
to read it and to regulate your life by 
its precepts. - John Jay, letter to 
Peter Augustus Jay, 1784

I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever 
given to man. All the good from the Savior of the 
world is communicated to us through this book.       
- President Abraham Lincoln

For we must consider that we shall be as a City 
upon a hill.  The eyes of all people are upon us.  
So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this 
work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to 
withdraw his present help from us, we shall be 
made a story and a byword throughout the world.
John WinthropGovernor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630  

It is impossible to rightly govern the world without 
God and the Bible. - Attributed to President George Washington

The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, 
with a power that conquers all that oppose it. - Napoleon




That Book accounts for the supremacy of England.
Queen Victoria

If there is anything in my thought or style to 
commend, the credit is due my parents for 
instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. 
If we abide by the principals taught in the Bible, 
our country will go on prospering and to prosper;
but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions 
and authority, no man can tell how sudden a 
catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all 
our glory in profound obscurity. 
Daniel Webster (Founding Father)

The Bible is worth all other books which have ever 
been printed. - Patrick Henry   (original member 
of the Continental Congress)

The Bible is the anchor of our liberties. -  President U.S. Grant

It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially 
a Bible-reading people. The principals of the 
Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.
Horace Greeley  (Editor)




That Book is the rock on which our Republic rests. 
- President Andrew Jackson

In all my perplexities and distresses, 
the Bible has never failed to give me
light and strength. - Gen. Robert E. Lee

Bible reading is an education in itself. 
Lord Tennyson (Poet)

So great is my veneration for the Bible 
that the earlier my children begin to read 
it the more confident will be my hope that 
they will prove useful citizens of their country 
and respectable members of society. I have for
many years made it a practice to read through 
the Bible once every year. - President John 
Quincy Adams

The existence of the Bible, as a Book for the 
people, is the greatest benefit which the human 
race has ever experienced. Every attempt to
belittle it is a crime against humanity.
 - Immanuel Kant (Philosopher)

The New Testament is the very best Book 
that ever or ever will be known in the world. 
Charles Dickens (Author)




All human discoveries seem to be made only 
for the purpose of confirming more and more 
strongly the truths contained in the
Sacred Scriptures. - Sir William Herschel (Astronomer)

There are more sure marks of authenticity 
in the Bible than in any profane history. 
- Sir Isaac Newton (Scientist)

Let mental culture go on advancing, 
let the natural sciences progress in 
even greater extent and depth, and 
the human mind widen itself as much 
as it desires; beyond the elevation
and moral culture of Christianity, 
as it shines forth in the Gospels,
it will not go. - Goethe (Author)

I have known ninety-five of the world's great 
men in my time, and of these eight-seven were 
followers of the Bible. The Bible is stamped with 
a Specialty of Origin, and an immeasurable
distance separates it from all competitors.
W.E. Gladstone (Prime Minister) 

Whatever merit there is in anything that I have 
written is simply due to the fact that when I was 
a child my mother daily read me a part of the Bible 
and daily made me learn a part of it by heart.
John Ruskin (art critic and social commentator) 

The Bible has been the Magna Carta of the poor 
and oppressed. The human race is not in a position 
to dispense with it. 
Thomas Huxley (Author & Scientist)

The whole hope of human progress is suspended 
on the ever growing influence of the Bible. 
W.H. Seward (Secretary of State)




America was born a Christian nation. 
America was born to exemplify that 
devotion to the elements of righteousness, 
which are derived from the revelations 
of Holy Scriptures. Part of the destiny 
of Americans lies in their daily perusal 
of this great book of revelations. That 
if they would see America free and pure 
they will make their own spirits free and 
pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit.
 - President Woodrow Wilson

For Christians, the life and death of Jesus are the ultimate 
expressions of love, and the supreme demonstrations of 
God's mercy, faithfulness, and redemption. Since Christ's 
miraculous Resurrection on Easter, more than 2,000 years 
ago, Christians have expressed joy and gratitude for this 
wondrous sacrifice and for God's promise of freedom for 
the oppressed, healing for the brokenhearted, and salvation.
      - President George W. Bush

It cannot be emphasized too strongly 
or too often that this great nation was 
founded, not by religionists, but by 
Christians; not on religions, but on 
the gospel of Jesus Christ.  For this 
very  reason peoples of other faiths 
have been afforded asylum, prosperity, 
and freedom of worship here. 
- Attributed to Patrick Henry  

(original member of the Continental Congress)











112 Justices have served on the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest judicial body in the United States. Justices have life tenure, and so serve until they die in office, resign or retire, or are impeached and removed from office (which has never happened; the one impeached Justice was acquitted). Of the current Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices, the longest serving is Justice Antonin Scalia, for a term to date of 9,898 days (27 years). For the 103 non-incumbent justices, the mean length of service was 6,112 days (16.7 years) with a standard deviation of 3,620 days (9.9 years). The median length of service was 5,740 days (15.7 years). Their period of service ranges from William O. Douglas's 13,358 days (36 years) on the Court to the 163–day tenure of Thomas Johnson. A nominee who was confirmed by the United States Senate but declined to serve, such as Robert H. Harrison, or who died before taking his seat, such as Edwin M. Stanton, is not considered to have served as a Justice.[1][2] The Term Start date is the day the Justice took the oath of office,[1] with the Term End date being the date of the Justice's death, resignation, or retirement.[1] A highlighted row indicates that the Justice is currently serving on the Court.[3] Justices[edit] Rank by length of term Justice Term in days Term Start[1] Term End[1] 1 William O. Douglas 13,358 April 17, 1939 November 12, 1975 2 Stephen Johnson Field 12,614 May 20, 1863 December 1, 1897 3 John Paul Stevens 12,611 December 19, 1975 June 29, 2010 4 John Marshall* 12,570 February 4, 1801 July 6, 1835 5 Hugo Black 12,447 August 19, 1937 September 17, 1971 6 John Marshall Harlan 12,360 December 10, 1877 October 14, 1911 7 William J. Brennan, Jr. 12,330 October 16, 1956 July 20, 1990 8 William Rehnquist* 12,293† January 7, 1972 September 3, 2005† 9 Joseph Story 12,273 February 3, 1812 September 10, 1845 10 James Moore Wayne 11,860 January 14, 1835 July 5, 1867 11 John McLean 11,406 January 11, 1830 April 4, 1861 12 Byron White 11,396 April 16, 1962 June 28, 1993 13 Bushrod Washington 11,252 February 4, 1799 November 26, 1829 14 William Johnson 11,046 May 7, 1804 August 4, 1834 15 Oliver Wendell Holmes 10,627 December 8, 1902 January 12, 1932 16 Roger B. Taney* 10,425 March 28, 1836 October 12, 1864 17 Samuel Freeman Miller 10,311 July 21, 1862 October 13, 1890 18 John Catron 10,256 May 1, 1837 May 30, 1865 19 Samuel Nelson 10,136 February 27, 1845 November 28, 1872 20 Edward Douglass White* 9,929† March 12, 1894 May 19, 1921† 21 Antonin Scalia 9,898 September 26, 1986 Incumbent 22 Joseph McKenna 9,840 January 26, 1898 January 5, 1925 23 Willis Van Devanter 9,647 January 3, 1911 June 2, 1937 24 James Clark McReynolds 9,608 October 12, 1914 January 31, 1941 25 Anthony Kennedy 9,388 February 18, 1988 Incumbent 26 Sandra Day O'Connor 8,894 September 25, 1981 January 31, 2006 27 Harry Blackmun 8,821 June 9, 1970 August 3, 1994 28 Thurgood Marshall 8,765 October 2, 1967 October 1, 1991 29 Felix Frankfurter 8,611 January 30, 1939 August 28, 1962 30 Nathan Clifford 8,586 January 21, 1858 July 25, 1881 31 Robert Cooper Grier 8,575 August 10, 1846 January 31, 1870 32 Gabriel Duvall 8,453 November 23, 1811 January 14, 1835 33 Potter Stewart 8,298 October 14, 1958 July 3, 1981 34 Louis Brandeis 8,288 June 5, 1916 February 13, 1939 35 Clarence Thomas 8,045 October 23, 1991 Incumbent 36 Joseph P. Bradley 7,975 March 23, 1870 January 22, 1892 37 Melville Fuller* 7,938 October 8, 1888 July 4, 1910 38 Harlan F. Stone* 7,721† March 2, 1925 April 22, 1946† 39 Horace Gray 7,553 January 9, 1882 September 15, 1902 40 William Cushing 7,527 February 2, 1790 September 13, 1810 41 Smith Thompson 7,413 September 1, 1823 December 18, 1843 42 Ruth Bader Ginsburg 7,388 August 10, 1993 Incumbent 43 David Josiah Brewer 7,385 January 6, 1890 March 28, 1910 44 William R. Day 7,196 March 2, 1903 November 13, 1922 45 Stephen Breyer 7,030 August 3, 1994 Incumbent 46 Stanley Forman Reed 6,965 January 31, 1938 February 25, 1957 47 Noah Haynes Swayne 6,937 January 27, 1862 January 24, 1881 48 Thomas Todd 6,854 May 4, 1807 February 7, 1826 49 David Souter 6,838 October 9, 1990 June 29, 2009 50 Peter Vivian Daniel 6,716 January 10, 1842 May 31, 1860 51 Tom C. Clark 6,501 August 24, 1949 June 12, 1967 52 Warren E. Burger* 6,304 June 23, 1969 September 26, 1986 53 Charles Evans Hughes* 6,214† October 10, 1910 February 24, 1930* June 10, 1916 June 30, 1941* 54 Pierce Butler 6,162 January 2, 1923 November 16, 1939 55 John Marshall Harlan II 6,023 March 28, 1955 September 23, 1971 56 Henry Brockholst Livingston 5,901 January 20, 1807 March 18, 1823 57 Earl Warren* 5,740 October 5, 1953 June 23, 1969 58 Lewis Franklin Powell 5,649 January 7, 1972 June 26, 1987 59 Henry Billings Brown 5,621 January 5, 1891 May 28, 1906 60 Samuel Chase 5,613 February 4, 1796 June 19, 1811 61 George Sutherland 5,586 October 2, 1922 January 17, 1938 62 Owen Roberts 5,538 June 2, 1930 July 31, 1945 63 John McKinley 5,305 January 9, 1838 July 19, 1852 64 Henry Baldwin 5,207 January 18, 1830 April 21, 1844 65 David Davis 5,198 December 10, 1862 March 4, 1877 66 Morrison Waite* 5,133 March 4, 1874 March 23, 1888 67 Rufus Wheeler Peckham 5,039 January 6, 1896 October 24, 1909 68 William Paterson 4,929 March 11, 1793 September 9, 1806 69 Robert H. Jackson 4,838 July 11, 1941 October 9, 1954 70 Harold Hitz Burton 4,760 October 1, 1945 October 13, 1958 71 Samuel Blatchford 4,113 April 3, 1882 July 7, 1893 72 Mahlon Pitney 3,940 March 18, 1912 December 31, 1922 73 William Strong 3,928 March 14, 1870 December 14, 1880 74 George Shiras, Jr. 3,787 October 10, 1892 February 23, 1903 75 Frank Murphy 3,452 February 5, 1940 July 19, 1949 76 James Iredell 3,448 May 12, 1790 October 20, 1799 77 Ward Hunt 3,305 January 9, 1873 January 27, 1882 78 James Wilson 3,242 October 5, 1789 August 21, 1798 79 William Howard Taft* 3,129 July 11, 1921 February 3, 1930 80 Salmon P. Chase* 3,065 December 15, 1864 May 7, 1873 81 John Roberts* 2,955 September 29, 2005 Incumbent 82 John Archibald Campbell 2,941 April 11, 1853 April 30, 1861 83 Stanley Matthews 2,866 May 17, 1881 March 22, 1889 84 Samuel Alito 2,831 January 31, 2006 Incumbent 85 Fred M. Vinson* 2,633 June 24, 1946 September 8, 1953 86 Edward Terry Sanford 2,574 February 19, 1923 March 8, 1930 87 Sherman Minton 2,560 October 12, 1949 October 15, 1956 88 Wiley Blount Rutledge 2,399 February 15, 1943 September 10, 1949 89 William Burnham Woods 2,320 January 5, 1881 May 14, 1887 90 Benjamin N. Cardozo 2,308 March 14, 1932 July 9, 1938 91 Benjamin Robbins Curtis 2,182 October 10, 1851 September 30, 1857 92 Levi Woodbury 2,172 September 23, 1845 September 4, 1851 93 John Hessin Clarke 2,170 October 9, 1916 September 18, 1922 94 John Blair 2,091 February 2, 1790 October 25, 1795 95 John Jay* 2,079 October 19, 1789 June 29, 1795 96 (tie) Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar 1,832 January 18, 1888 January 23, 1893 96 (tie) Charles Evans Whittaker 1,832 March 25, 1957 March 31, 1962 98 Joseph Rucker Lamar 1,825 January 3, 1911 January 2, 1916 99 Philip Pendleton Barbour 1,750 May 12, 1836 February 25, 1841 100 Oliver Ellsworth* 1,742 March 8, 1796 December 15, 1800 101 Horace Harmon Lurton 1,651 January 3, 1910 July 12, 1914 102 Sonia Sotomayor 1,546 August 8, 2009 Incumbent 103 William Henry Moody 1,434 December 17, 1906 November 20, 1910 104 Alfred Moore 1,375 April 21, 1800 January 26, 1804 105 Abe Fortas 1,318 October 4, 1965 May 14, 1969 106 Elena Kagan 1,182 August 7, 2010 Incumbent 107 Arthur Goldberg 1,028 October 1, 1962 July 25, 1965 108 Howell Edmunds Jackson 887 March 4, 1893 August 8, 1895 109 Robert Trimble 801 June 16, 1826 August 25, 1828 110 John Rutledge* 563† February 15, 1790 July 1, 1795* March 5, 1791 December 28, 1795* 111 James F. Byrnes 452 July 8, 1941 October 3, 1942 112 Thomas Johnson 163 August 6, 1792 January 16, 1793 - Wikipedia

The United States has 59 protected areas known as national parks, which are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress. The first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Mackinac National Park in 1875 (decommissioned in 1895), and then Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service "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."[1] Many current National Parks had been previously protected as National Monuments by the President under the Antiquities Act before being upgraded by Congress. Seven national parks (six in Alaska) are paired with a National Preserve. While administered together, they are considered as separate units and their areas are not included in the figures below. The newest national park is Pinnacles National Park, upgraded in 2013. Criteria for the selection of National Parks include natural beauty, unique geological features, unusual ecosystems, and recreational opportunities (but not necessarily together). National Monuments, on the other hand, are frequently chosen for their historical, or archeological, significance. Twenty-seven states have national parks, as do the territories of American Samoa and the United States Virgin Islands. California has the most (nine), followed by Alaska (eight), Utah (five), and Colorado (four). The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias in Alaska: at over 8 million acres (32,000 km2), it is larger than each of the nine smallest states. The next three largest parks are also in Alaska. The smallest park is Hot Springs, Arkansas, at less than 6 thousand acres (24 km2). The total area protected by national parks is approximately 51.9 million acres (210,000 km2), for an average of 895 thousand acres (3,620 km2) but a median of only 317 thousand acres (1,280 km2).[2] The most-visited national park is Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee, with over nine million visitors in 2011, followed by the Arizona's Grand Canyon, with over four million. In contrast, only 5,227 people visited the remote Lake Clark in Alaska.[3] Fourteen national parks are designated World Heritage Sites.[4] A few former national parks are no longer designated as such, or have been abandoned. Other units of the National Park Service are sometimes incorrectly[citation needed] referred to as national parks; they are listed here. Contents [hide] 1 National Parks 2 See also 3 References 4 External links National Parks[edit] Name Photo Location Date established[2][5] Area[2] Description Acadia Image-Schoodic2.jpg Maine 44.35°N 68.21°W February 26, 1919 47,389.67 acres (191.8 km2) Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, Acadia features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast, granite peaks, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. There are freshwater, estuary, forest, and intertidal habitats.[6] American Samoa Ofu Beach NPS.jpg American Samoa 14.25°S 170.68°W October 31, 1988 9,000.00 acres (36.4 km2) The southernmost national park is on three Samoan islands and protects coral reefs, rainforests, volcanic mountains, and white beaches. The area is also home to flying foxes, brown boobies, sea turtles, and 900 species of fish.[7] Arches Delicatearch1.jpg Utah 38.68°N 109.57°W November 12, 1971 76,518.98 acres (309.7 km2) This site features more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the Delicate Arch. In a desert climate millions of years of erosion have led to these structures, and the arid ground has life-sustaining soil crust and potholes, natural water-collecting basins. Other geologic formations are stone columns, spires, fins, and towers.[8] Badlands BadlandsView3.jpg South Dakota 43.75°N 102.50°W November 10, 1978 242,755.94 acres (982.4 km2) The Badlands are a collection of buttes, pinnacles, spires, and grass prairies. It has the world's richest fossil beds from the Oligocene epoch, and there is wildlife including bison, bighorn sheep, black-footed ferrets, and swift foxes.[9] Big Bend Santa Elena Canyon.jpg Texas 29.25°N 103.25°W June 12, 1944 801,163.21 acres (3,242.2 km2) Named for the Bend of the Rio Grande along the US–Mexico border, this park includes a part of the Chihuahuan Desert. A wide variety of Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils as well as cultural artifacts of Native Americans exist within its borders.[10] Biscayne Biscayne NP snorkeling.jpg Florida 25.65°N 80.08°W June 28, 1980 172,924.07 acres (699.8 km2) Located in Biscayne Bay, this park at the north end of the Florida Keys has four interrelated marine ecosystems: mangrove forest, the Bay, the Keys, and coral reefs. Threatened animals include the West Indian Manatee, American crocodile, various sea turtles, and peregrine falcon.[11] Black Canyon of the Gunnison Black canyon gunnison Colorado.jpg Colorado 38.57°N 107.72°W October 21, 1999 32,950.03 acres (133.3 km2) The park protects a quarter of the Gunnison River, which has dark canyon walls from the Precambrian era. The canyon has very steep descents, and it is a site for river rafting and rock climbing. The narrow, steep canyon, made of gneiss and schist, is often in shadow, appearing black.[12] Bryce Canyon Bryce Canyon Hoodoos Amphitheater.jpg Utah 37.57°N 112.18°W February 25, 1928 35,835.08 acres (145.0 km2) Bryce Canyon is a giant natural amphitheatre along the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The unique area has hundreds of tall hoodoos formed by erosion. The region was originally settled by Native Americans and later by Mormon pioneers.[13] Canyonlands Canyonlands Needles.jpg Utah 38.2°N 109.93°W September 12, 1964 337,597.83 acres (1,366.2 km2) This landscape was eroded into canyons, buttes, and mesas by the Colorado River, Green River, and their tributaries, which divide the park into three districts. There are rock pinnacles and other naturally sculpted rock, as well as artifacts from Ancient Pueblo Peoples.[14] Capitol Reef Cassidy Arch, Capitol Reef National Park.JPG Utah 38.20°N 111.17°W December 18, 1971 241,904.26 acres (979.0 km2) The park's Waterpocket Fold is a 100-mile (160 km) monocline that shows the Earth's geologic layers. Other natural features are monoliths and sandstone domes and cliffs shaped like the United States Capitol.[15] Carlsbad Caverns Carlsbad Interior Formations.jpg New Mexico 32.17°N 104.44°W May 14, 1930 46,766.45 acres (189.3 km2) Carlsbad Caverns has 117 caves, the longest of which is over 120 miles (190 km) long. The Big Room is almost 4,000 feet (1,200 m) long, and the caves are home to over 400,000 Mexican Free-tailed Bats and sixteen other species. Above ground are the Chihuahuan Desert and Rattlesnake Springs.[16] Channel Islands Channel Islands National Park.jpg California 34.01°N 119.42°W March 5, 1980 249,561.00 acres (1,009.9 km2) Five of the eight Channel Islands are protected, and half of the park's area is underwater. The islands have a unique Mediterranean ecosystem. They are home to over 2,000 species of land plants and animals, and 145 are unique to them. The islands were originally settled by the Chumash people.[17] Congaree Congaree swamp.jpg South Carolina 33.78°N 80.78°W November 10, 2003 26,545.86 acres (107.4 km2) On the Congaree River, this park is the largest portion of old-growth floodplain forest left in North America. Some of the trees are the tallest in the Eastern US, and the Boardwalk Loop is an elevated walkway through the swamp.[18] Crater Lake Crater lake oregon.jpg Oregon 42.94°N 122.1°W May 22, 1902 183,224.05 acres (741.5 km2) Crater Lake lies in the caldera of Mount Mazama formed 7,700 years ago after an eruption. It is the deepest lake in the United States and is known for its blue color and water clarity. There are two islands in the lake, and, with no inlets or outlets, all water comes through precipitation.[19] Cuyahoga Valley OhioErieCanalLock.JPG Ohio 41.24°N 81.55°W October 11, 2000 32,860.73 acres (133.0 km2) This park along the Cuyahoga River has waterfalls, hills, trails, and displays about early rural living. The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail follows the Ohio and Erie Canal, where mules towed canal boats. The park has numerous historic homes, bridges, and structures.[20] The park also offers a scenic train ride with various trips available. [21] Death Valley Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley.jpg California, Nevada 36.24°N 116.82°W October 31, 1994 3,372,401.96 acres (13,647.6 km2) Death Valley is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in the United States. Daytime temperatures have topped 130°F (54°C) and it is home to Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. There are canyons, colorful badlands, sand dunes, mountains, and over 1000 species of plants in this graben on a fault line. Further geologic points of interest are salt flats, springs, and buttes.[22] Denali Mount McKinley and Denali National Park Road 2048px.jpg Alaska 63.33°N 150.50°W February 26, 1917 4,740,911.72 acres (19,185.8 km2) Centered around the Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, Denali is serviced by a single road leading to Wonder Lake. McKinley and other peaks of the Alaska Range are covered with long glaciers and boreal forest. Wildlife includes grizzly bears, Dall sheep, caribou, and gray wolves.[23] Dry Tortugas Fort-Jefferson Dry-Tortugas.jpg Florida 24.63°N 82.87°W October 26, 1992 64,701.22 acres (261.8 km2) The Dry Tortugas on the west end of the Florida Keys are the site of Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere. With most of the park being water, it is the home of coral reefs and shipwrecks and is only accessible by plane or boat.[24] Everglades Everglades National Park cypress.jpg Florida 25.32°N 80.93°W May 30, 1934 1,508,537.90 acres (6,104.8 km2) The Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. This mangrove ecosystem and marine estuary is home to 36 protected species, including the Florida panther, American crocodile, and West Indian manatee. Some areas have been drained and developed; restoration projects aim to restore the ecology.[25] Gates of the Arctic GatesofArctic.jpg Alaska 67.78°N 153.30°W December 2, 1980 7,523,897.74 acres (30,448.1 km2) This northernmost park protects part of the Brooks Range and has no park facilities. The land is home to Alaska natives, who have relied on the land and caribou for 11,000 years.[26] Glacier St Mary Lake - Wild goose Island.jpg Montana 48.80°N 114.00°W May 11, 1910 1,013,572.41 acres (4,101.8 km2) Part of Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, this park has 26 remaining glaciers and 130 named lakes under the tall Rocky Mountain peaks. There are historic hotels and a landmark road in this region of rapidly receding glaciers. These mountains, formed by an overthrust, have the world's best sedimentary fossils from the Proterozoic era.[27] Glacier Bay GlacierBay3.jpg Alaska 58.50°N 137.00°W December 2, 1980 3,224,840.31 acres (13,050.5 km2) Glacier Bay has numerous tidewater glaciers, mountains, and fjords. The temperate rainforest and the bay are home to grizzly bears, mountain goats, whales, seals, and eagles. When discovered in 1794 by George Vancouver, the entire bay was covered by ice, but the glaciers have receded over 65 miles (105 km).[28] Grand Canyon USA 09847 Grand Canyon Luca Galuzzi 2007.jpg Arizona 36.06°N 112.14°W February 26, 1919 1,217,403.32 acres (4,926.7 km2) The Grand Canyon, carved out by the Colorado River, is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 1 mile (1.6 km) deep, and up to 15 miles (24 km) wide. Millions of years of exposure has formed colorful layers of the Colorado Plateau in mesas and canyon walls.[29] Grand Teton Teton Range from Glacier View Turnout-closeup.JPG Wyoming 43.73°N 110.80°W February 26, 1929 309,994.66 acres (1,254.5 km2) Grand Teton is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The park's Jackson Hole valley and reflective piedmont lakes contrast with the tall mountains, which abruptly rise from the sage-covered valley.[30] Great Basin Great Basin National Park 102007 031.JPG Nevada 38.98°N 114.30°W October 27, 1986 77,180.00 acres (312.3 km2) Based around Wheeler Peak, the Great Basin has 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, glacial moraines, and the limestone Lehman Caves. It has some of the country's darkest night skies, and there are animal species including Townsend's big-eared bat, Pronghorn, and Bonneville cutthroat trout.[31] Great Sand Dunes Coloradodunes.jpg Colorado 37.73°N 105.51°W September 13, 2004 42,983.74 acres (173.9 km2) The tallest dunes in North America are up to 750 feet (230 m) tall and neighbor grasslands, shrublands and wetlands. They were formed by sand deposits of the Rio Grande on the San Luis Valley. The park also has alpine lakes, six 13,000-foot mountains, and ancient forests.[32] Great Smoky Mountains Fall at Oconaluftee Overlook.JPG North Carolina, Tennessee 35.68°N 83.53°W June 15, 1934 521,490.13 acres (2,110.4 km2) The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains, have a wide range of elevations, making them home to over 400 vertebrate species, 100 tree species, and 5000 plant species. Hiking is the park's main attraction, with over 800 miles (1,300 km) of trails, including 70 miles (110 km) of the Appalachian Trail. Other activities are fishing, horseback riding, and visiting some of nearly 80 historic structures.[33] Guadalupe Mountains West face of Guadalupe Mountains at sunset 2006.jpg Texas 31.92°N 104.87°W October 15, 1966 86,415.97 acres (349.7 km2) This park has Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, the scenic McKittrick Canyon full of Bigtooth Maples, part of the Chihuahuan Desert, and a fossilized reef from the Permian.[34] Haleakalā Haleakala Crater.jpg Hawaii 20.72°N 156.17°W August 1, 1916 29,093.67 acres (117.7 km2) The Haleakalā volcano on Maui has a very large crater with many cinder cones, Hosmer's Grove of alien trees, and the native Hawaiian Goose. The Kipahulu section has numerous pools with freshwater fish. This National Park has the greatest number of endangered species.[35] Hawaii Volcanoes Puu Oo cropped.jpg Hawaii 19.38°N 155.20°W August 1, 1916 323,431.38 acres (1,308.9 km2) This park on the Big Island protects the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, two of the world's most active. Diverse ecosystems of the park range from those at sea level to 13,000 feet (4,000 m).[36] Hot Springs Hots Springs National Park aerial.jpg Arkansas 34.51°N 93.05°W March 4, 1921 5,549.75 acres (22.5 km2) The only National Park in an urban area, this smallest National Park is based around the natural hot springs that have been managed for public use. Bathhouse Row preserves 47 of these with many beneficial minerals.[37] Isle Royale IsleRoyalePlane.jpg Michigan 48.10°N 88.55°W March 3, 1931 571,790.11 acres (2,314.0 km2) The largest island in Lake Superior, this park is a site of isolation and wilderness. It has many shipwrecks, waterways, and hiking trails. The park also includes over 400 smaller islands in the waters up to 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from the island. There are only 20 mammal species and it is known for its wolf and moose relationship.[38] Joshua Tree Joshua Tree - Rock formation in Real Hidden Valley 1.jpg California 33.79°N 115.90°W October 31, 1994 789,745.47 acres (3,196.0 km2) Covering parts of the Colorado and Mojave Deserts and the Little San Bernardino Mountains, this is the home of the Joshua tree. Across great elevation changes are sand dunes, dry lakes, rugged mountains, and granite monoliths.[39] Katmai Brown bears brooks falls.jpg Alaska 58.50°N 155.00°W December 2, 1980 3,674,529.68 acres (14,870.3 km2) This park on the Alaska Peninsula protects the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, an ash flow formed by the 1912 eruption of Novarupta, as well as Mount Katmai. Over 2,000 brown bears come here to catch spawning salmon.[40] Kenai Fjords Exit Glacier Jul09.JPG Alaska 59.92°N 149.65°W December 2, 1980 669,982.99 acres (2,711.3 km2) Near Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, this park protects the Harding Icefield and at least 38 glaciers and fjords stemming from it. The only area accessible to the public by road is Exit Glacier, while the rest can only be viewed by boat tours.[41] Kings Canyon ParadiseValley.JPG California 36.80°N 118.55°W March 4, 1940 461,901.20 acres (1,869.2 km2) Home to several Giant sequoia groves and the General Grant Tree, the world's second largest, this park also has part of the Kings River, site of the granite Kings Canyon, and San Joaquin River, as well as the Boyden Cave.[42] Kobuk Valley Agie River.jpg Alaska 67.55°N 159.28°W December 2, 1980 1,750,716.50 acres (7,084.9 km2) Kobuk Valley has 61 miles (98 km) of the Kobuk River and three regions of sand dunes. Created by glaciers, the Great Kobuk, the Little Kobuk, and the Hunt River Sand Dunes can reach 100 feet (30 m) high and 100 °F (38 °C), and they are the largest dunes in the arctic. Twice a year, half a million caribou migrate through the dunes and across river bluffs that contain ice age fossils.[43] Lake Clark Lake Clark National Park.jpg Alaska 60.97°N 153.42°W December 2, 1980 2,619,733.21 acres (10,601.7 km2) The region around Lake Clark has four active volcanoes, including Mount Redoubt, rivers, glaciers, and waterfalls. There are temperate rainforests, a tundra plateau, and three mountain ranges.[44] Lassen Volcanic Cinder-cone-from-behind-Snag-Lassen.jpg California 40.49°N 121.51°W August 9, 1916 106,372.36 acres (430.5 km2) Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world, is joined by all three other types of volcanoes in this park: shield, cinder dome, and composite. Other than the volcano, which last erupted in 1915, the park has hydrothermal areas, including fumaroles, boiling pools, and steaming ground, heated by molten rock under the peak.[45] Mammoth Cave Mammoth Cave National Park 007.jpg Kentucky 37.18°N 86.10°W July 1, 1941 52,830.19 acres (213.8 km2) With 392 miles (631 km) of passageways mapped, Mammoth Cave is by far the world's longest cave system. Cave animals include eight bat species, Kentucky cave shrimp, Northern cavefish, and cave salamanders. Above ground, the park contains Green River (Kentucky), 70 miles of hiking trails, sinkholes, and springs.[46] Mesa Verde Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Palace Right Part 2006 09 12.jpg Colorado 37.18°N 108.49°W June 29, 1906 52,121.93 acres (210.9 km2) This area has over 4,000 archaeological sites of the Ancestral Pueblo, who lived here for 700 years. Cliff dwellings built in the 12th and 13th centuries include Cliff Palace, which has 150 rooms and 23 kivas, and the Balcony House, with passages and tunnels.[47] Mount Rainier Mount Rainier from west.jpg Washington 46.85°N 121.75°W March 2, 1899 235,625.00 acres (953.5 km2) Mount Rainier, an active volcano, is the most prominent peak in the Cascades, and it is covered by 26 named glaciers including Carbon Glacier and Emmons Glacier, the largest in the continental United States. The mountain is popular for climbing, and more than half of the park is covered by subalpine and alpine forests. Paradise on the south slope is one of the snowiest places in the world, and the Longmire visitor center is the start of the Wonderland Trail, which encircles the mountain.[48] North Cascades Thornton Lakes 25932.JPG Washington 48.70°N 121.20°W October 2, 1968 504,780.94 acres (2,042.8 km2) This complex includes the two units of the National Park and the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. There are numerous glaciers, and popular hiking and climbing areas are Cascade Pass, Mount Shuksan, Mount Triumph, and Eldorado Peak.[49] Olympic Hoh Rain Forest Maples.JPG Washington 47.97°N 123.50°W June 29, 1938 922,650.86 acres (3,733.8 km2) Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, this park ranges from Pacific shoreline with tide pools to temperate rainforests to Mount Olympus. The glaciated Olympic Mountains overlook the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest, the wettest area of the continental United States.[50] Petrified Forest PAINTED DESERT BADLANDS.jpg Arizona 35.07°N 109.78°W December 9, 1962 93,532.57 acres (378.5 km2) This portion of the Chinle Formation has a great concentration of 225-million-year-old petrified wood. The surrounding region, the Painted Desert, has eroded red-hued volcanic rock called bentonite. There are also dinosaur fossils and over 350 Native American sites.[51] Pinnacles PinnaclesParkView.jpg California 36.48°N 121.16°W January 10, 2013 26,605.73 acres (107.7 km2) Known for the namesake eroded leftovers of half of an extinct volcano, it is popular for its rock climbing.[52] Redwood Redwood National Park, fog in the forest.jpg California 41.30°N 124.00°W October 2, 1968 112,512.05 acres (455.3 km2) This park and the co-managed state parks protect almost half of all remaining Coastal Redwoods, the tallest trees on Earth. There are three large river systems in this very seismically active area, and the 37 miles (60 km) of protected coastline have tide pools and seastacks. The prairie, estuary, coast, river, and forest ecosystems have varied animal and plant species.[53] Rocky Mountain Bierstadt Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, USA.jpg Colorado 40.40°N 105.58°W January 26, 1915 265,828.41 acres (1,075.8 km2) This section of the Rocky Mountains has ecosystems varying in elevation from the over 150 riparian lakes to Montane and subalpine forests to the alpine tundra. Large wildlife including mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bears, and cougars inhabit these igneous mountains and glacier valleys. The fourteener Longs Peak and Bear Lake are popular destinations.[54] Saguaro Saguaronationalparl17102008.jpg Arizona 32.25°N 110.50°W October 14, 1994 91,439.71 acres (370.0 km2) Split into the separate Rincon Mountain and Tucson Mountain Districts, the dry Sonoran Desert is still home to much life in six biotic communities. Beyond the namesake Giant Saguaro cacti, there are barrel cacti, cholla cacti, and prickly pears, as well as Lesser Long-nosed Bats, Spotted Owls, and javelinas.[55] Sequoia Giant Forest.jpg California 36.43°N 118.68°W September 25, 1890 404,051.17 acres (1,635.1 km2) This park protects the Giant Forest, which has the world's largest tree, General Sherman, as well as four of the next nine. It also has over 240 caves, the tallest mountain in the continental U.S., Mount Whitney, and the granite dome Moro Rock.[56] Shenandoah Dark Hollow Falls Shenandoah NP 2007.jpg Virginia 38.53°N 78.35°W May 22, 1926 199,045.23 acres (805.5 km2) Shenandoah's Blue Ridge Mountains are covered by hardwood forests that are home to tens of thousands of animals. The Skyline Drive and Appalachian Trail run the entire length of this narrow park that has more than 500 miles (800 km) of hiking trails along scenic overlooks and waterfalls of the Shenandoah River.[57] Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt National Park.jpg North Dakota 46.97°N 103.45°W November 10, 1978 70,446.89 acres (285.1 km2) This region that enticed and influenced President Theodore Roosevelt is now a park of three units in the badlands. Besides Roosevelt's historic cabin, there are scenic drives and backcountry hiking opportunities. Wildlife includes American Bison, pronghorns, Bighorn sheep, and wild horses.[58] Virgin Islands St John Trunk Bay 1.jpg United States Virgin Islands 18.33°N 64.73°W August 2, 1956 14,688.87 acres (59.4 km2) The island of Saint John has rich human and natural history. There are Taino archaeological sites and ruins of sugar plantations from Columbus's time. Past the pristine beaches are mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs and algal plains.[59] Voyageurs Voyageurs National Park.jpg Minnesota 48.50°N 92.88°W January 8, 1971 218,200.17 acres (883.0 km2) This park on four main lakes, a site for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, has a history of Ojibwe Native Americans, French fur traders called voyageurs, and a gold rush. Formed by glaciers, this region has tall bluffs, rock gardens, islands and bays, and historic buildings.[60] Wind Cave Wind Cave lower.jpg South Dakota 43.57°N 103.48°W January 9, 1903 28,295.03 acres (114.5 km2) Wind Cave is distinctive for its calcite fin formations called boxwork and needle-like growths called frostwork. The cave, which was discovered by the sound of wind coming from a hole in the ground, is the world's densest cave system. Above ground is a mixed-grass prairie with animals such as bison, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs,[61] and Ponderosa pine forests home to cougars and elk. Wrangell –St. Elias MountJarvis.jpg Alaska 61.00°N 142.00°W December 2, 1980 8,323,147.59 acres (33,682.6 km2) This mountainous land has the convergence of the Alaska, Chugach, and Wrangell-Saint Elias Ranges, which have many of the continent's tallest mountains over 16,000 feet (4,900 m), including Mount Saint Elias. More than 25% of this park of volcanic peaks is covered with glaciers, including the tidewater Hubbard Glacier, piedmont Malaspina Glacier, and valley Nabesna Glacier.[62] Yellowstone Grand Prismatic Spring and Midway Geyser Basin from above.jpg Wyoming, Montana, Idaho 44.60°N 110.50°W March 1, 1872 2,219,790.71 acres (8,983.2 km2) Situated on the Yellowstone Caldera, the first national park in the world has vast geothermal areas such as hot springs and geysers, the best-known being Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring. The yellow-hued Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River has numerous waterfalls, and four mountain ranges run through the park. There are almost 60 mammal species, including the gray wolf, grizzly bear, lynx, bison, and elk.[63] Yosemite YosemitePark2 amk.jpg California 37.83°N 119.50°W October 1, 1890 761,266.19 acres (3,080.7 km2) Yosemite has towering cliffs, waterfalls, and sequoias in a diverse area of geology and hydrology. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the central glacier-formed Yosemite Valley, as does Yosemite Falls, North America's tallest waterfall. Three Giant Sequoia groves and vast wilderness are home to diverse wildlife.[64] Zion Zion angels landing view.jpg Utah 37.30°N 113.05°W November 19, 1919 146,597.60 acres (593.3 km2) This geologically unique area has colorful sandstone canyons, high plateaus, and rock towers. Natural arches and exposed formations of the Colorado Plateau make up a large wilderness of four ecosystems.[65] See also[edit] List of areas in the United States National Park System List of the United States National Park System official units (the 401) History of the National Park Service List of National Historic Landmarks of the United States List of National Monuments of the United States List of U.S. National Forests List of World Heritage Sites in the United States References[edit] Jump up ^ "The National Park Service Organic Act". National Park Service. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2010. ^ Jump up to: a b c The National Parks: Index 2005–2007 (PDF). Washington, D.C.: National Park Service. ISBN 978-0-912627-75-5. Retrieved 19 March 2010. Jump up ^ "NPS Reports". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-06-29. Note: select "Ranking report" and then 2011. (It is not possible to link directly to the report.) Jump up ^ "World Heritage List". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 6 February 2010. Jump up ^ "National Park System Areas Listed in Chronological Order of Date Authorized under DOI" (PDF). National Park Service. 27 June 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2010. Jump up ^ "Acadia National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "National Park of American Samoa". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Arches National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Badlands National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Big Bend National Park". National Park Service. December 8, 2009. Jump up ^ "Biscayne National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Bryce Canyon National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Canyonlands National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Capitol Reef National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Carlsbad Caverns National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Channel Islands National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Congaree National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Crater Lake National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Cuyahoga Valley National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Cuyahoga Valley National Park Scenic Railroad". National Park Service. Retrieved 4 November 2012. Jump up ^ "Death Valley National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Denali National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Dry Tortugas National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Everglades National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Gates of the Arctic National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Glacier National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Glacier Bay National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Grand Canyon National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Grand Teton National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Great Basin National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Great Sand Dunes National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Great Smoky Mountains National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Guadalupe Mountains National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Haleakala National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Hawaii Volcanoes National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Hot Springs National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Isle Royale National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Joshua Tree National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Katmai National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Kenai Fjords National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Kings Canyon National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Kobuk Valley National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Lake Clark National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Lassen Volcanic National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Mammoth Cave National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Mesa Verde National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Mount Rainier National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "North Cascades National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Olympic National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Petrified Forest National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Pinnacles National Monument". National Park Service. January 09, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-24. Jump up ^ "Redwood National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Rocky Mountain National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Saguaro National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Sequoia National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Shenandoah National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Theodore Roosevelt National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Virgin Islands National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Voyageurs National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Wind Cave National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Wrangell – St. Elias National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Yellowstone National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Yosemite National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010. Jump up ^ "Zion National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 23 March 2010.

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