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).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Interior Designates Four New National Landmarks to Honor Nation's Unique Cultural Heritage & History
Office of the Secretary
New Landmarks include: Adlai Stevenson II Farm in Illinois, The Detroit Industry Murals in Michigan, George Nakashima Woodworker Complex in Pennsylvania, and 1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines Aviation Accident Site in Arizona
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today marked National Park Week by announcing the designation of four new national historic landmarks, ranging from a ground-breaking mural in the heart of the Motor City to the farm of a prominent 20th-century statesman who played a major role in the Cold War. The sites announced today join 2,540 other sites across the country recognized as places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.
The announcement was made as part of National Park Week, an annual event honoring the natural beauty and cultural heritage contained in America's national parks. The National Historic Landmarks Program is one of more than a dozen programs administered by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve our nation's shared history and create close-to-home recreation opportunities.
“These four new national historic landmarks are as diverse as our American heritage, telling stories of triumph and tragedy, of dedicated public service and artistic beauty,” Secretary Jewell said. “As part of a nationwide network of unique, historic sites, they help ensure the journey we have taken as a nation is remembered and interpreted both now and for future generations.”
“As the National Park Service approaches its Centennial observance in 2016, we are seeking ways to highlight and share the breadth of the American experience,” said Director Jarvis. “These new national historic showcase the rich, diverse, and complex history of our nation's story, as well as drive tourism and boost local economies.”
The national historic landmarks announced today include:
Adlai E. Stevenson II Farm, Mettawa, Illinois
The Adlai Stevenson II Farm was the home of the twice-nominated Democratic candidate for the presidency and Ambassador to the United Nations. As U.N. Ambassador during the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Adlai Stevenson, Stevenson played a major role in Cold War politics during the mid-20th century. The farm was Stevenson's home for most of his adult life and is closely associated with many of his important activities.
The Detroit Industry Murals, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan
Between July 1932 and March 1933, Diego Rivera, a premier leader in the 1920s Mexican Mural Movement, executed the Detroit Industry mural cycle, considered the United States' finest, modern monumental artwork devoted to industry. It depicts the City of Detroit's manufacturing base and labor force on all four walls of the Detroit Institute of Art's Garden Court. Considered by many scholars to be Rivera's greatest extant work in the United States, Detroit Industry is an exemplary representation of the introduction and emergence of mural art in the United States between the Depression and World War II.
George Nakashima Woodworker Complex, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Internationally-renowned furniture designer and woodworker George Nakashima is recognized as one of America's most eminent furniture designer craftsmen. Nakashima's work expresses a worldview that is based upon a unique set of circumstances, including his formal education in architecture, his exposure to European Modernism, Eastern religious philosophy, and traditional Japanese craft traditions, including instruction from Issei carpenter Gentaro Hikogawa while both were confined at the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of 10 internment camps established for Japanese Americans during World War II (and whose site is today administered by the National Park Service). As a self-proclaimed “woodworker,” Nakashima became an important voice for the artist craftsmen helping to create a new paradigm for studio furniture production in the postwar period. The George Nakashima Woodworker complex is significant for its innovative Japanese-influenced International Style structures designed by Nakashima and built under his direct supervision.
1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines Aviation Accident Site, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
On June 30, 1956, a Trans World Airlines Super Constellation L-1049 and a United Airlines DC-7 collided in uncongested airspace 21,000 feet over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, killing all 128 people onboard the two flights. The tragedy spurred an unprecedented effort to modernize and increase safety in America's postwar airways, culminating in the establishment of the modern Federal Aviation Administration. Other improvements that resulted from the crash included nationwide radar coverage, a common military/civilian navigation system, and the development of technologies such as collision avoidance systems and flight data recorders.
The National Historic Landmarks Program, established in 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The agency works with preservation officials, private property owners, and other partners interested in nominating properties for National Historic Landmark designation. Completed nominations are reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of the Interior. If selected, property ownership remains intact but each site receives a designation letter and technical preservation advice.
Additional information on the designations can be found here.