Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Salazar and Secretary Napolitano Lead Naturalization Ceremony with USCIS Director Mayorkas
Office of the Secretary
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Honored as an Outstanding American by Choice
WASHINGTON— Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas today welcomed 50 new U.S. citizens representing 29 countries at a naturalization ceremony in Washington, DC. This was the capstone ceremony of USCIS' annual celebration surrounding Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (Sept. 17th).
“We have a strong tradition as a welcoming nation, and our efforts ensure that the United States continues to draw people from across the world who contribute in important and innovative ways,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I am proud to recognize Madeleine Albright with the “Outstanding American By Choice” award and to welcome the new citizens here today and the thousands who have been naturalized over the past several weeks to our country.”
During this year's celebration, USCIS has welcomed more than 27,000 new citizens during 285 naturalization ceremonies and partnered with the Department of the Interior's National Park Service (NPS) to hold ceremonies at 14 national park sites across the country.
“The vast majority of Americans can trace their ancestry to someone who immigrated to this country seeking freedom, opportunity and a better life,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “I am proud to welcome our newest Americans at the Department of the Interior – just steps from the National Mall, a place that celebrates our history, our Constitution and our commitment to the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all our citizens.”
During the ceremony, former Secretary of State Dr. Madeleine K. Albright was recognized for her significant contributions to her adopted country as an Outstanding American by Choice.
The Outstanding American by Choice initiative recognizes the achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens through civic participation, professional achievement, and responsible citizenship. Recipients of this honor have demonstrated their commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans.
“I am honored to participate in this celebration of citizenship and the constitution because, from our nation's earliest days, the United States has been enriched by the steady flow of immigrants to our shores,” said Secretary Albright. “Attracted by America's promise, they have contributed immensely to the vitality of our neighborhoods, the health of our economy, the depth of our democracy, and the ongoing example of our unity.”
In 1997, Dr. Albright was appointed as the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. As Secretary of State, Dr. Albright reinforced American alliances, advocated for democracy and human rights across the globe, and promoted U.S. trade, business, labor and environmental standards abroad.