The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Season 1 Episode 3

The Empire of Grandeur (1915-1919)

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Aired Daily 8:00 PM Sep 29, 2009 on PBS
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Episode Summary

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As questions arise of how the National Parks should function, the National Park Service is created to uniformly administer America's park system and to seek out and protect new areas of intrinsic worth.
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    • TRIVIA (1)

      • Western ranchers opposed to the National Parks suggested slaughtering their elk and bison and making the meat available for US troops serving in the first World War.

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Voice of Mark Twain: (on the volcanoes of Hawaii National Park) I thought it possible that its like has not been seen since the children of Israel wandered on their long march through the desert on a path illuminated by the mysterious Pillar of Fire.

      • Narrator: (on how Stephen Mather became the first director of the National Park Service) With only the Army periodically policing the parks, hiking trails were in poor condition. Cattle could still be found grazing there. And speculators had managed to file claims on choice parcels of land, planning to log the sequoias that Mather believed should be protected forever. Mather dashed off an angry letter to an old college schoolmate, Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior.

    • NOTES (1)

      • In order to capture footage at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a cameraman used a hand-held camera while riding in a helicopter hovering as close as 15 feet above the active craters.

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