Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Washington, D.C.—Today is Native American Heritage Day, thanks to legislation signed by President Obama that permanently designates the Friday after Thanksgiving Day each year as a day of honoring American Indian and Alaska Native cultural heritage and tribal sovereignty.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk thanked President Obama and the Congress for the designation.
“It is fitting that Native American Heritage Day follows Thanksgiving because the holiday is rooted in the tradition of the first meal between European settlers and the Native Americans who taught them how to survive in their new home,'” Secretary Salazar said.
“Native Americans have much to appreciate this year,” said Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk, noting that in addition to signing House Joint Resolution 40, the “Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009,” the President recently issued an Executive Memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies that strengthens federal-tribal relationships. He signed the memo at the White House Tribal Nations Conference held at the Department of the Interior on November 5.
Native American Heritage Day can be observed through appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. It is an opportunity for all Americans to learn about the historical status of Native American tribal governments; the present day conditions of Native American people; their traditions and languages; and their rich cultural legacy.