Photo by Connor Robertson on Unsplash

Tomorrow, which is August 25, 2020, is the 104th birthday of the National Park Service. And in celebration, entrance is free to all parks! If money is tight and you don’t care about crowds (you can expect them in most parks, at least at the most popular spots, tomorrow), then consider going tomorrow or on one of the other free days left this year. They are, via the National Park Service website:

  • August 25 (tomorrow): National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

If money isn’t a problem and you value the less-crowded experience more, however, avoid going on free days like tomorrow. In any case, make sure to read the NPS’s coronavirus page for safety guidelines before visiting, and read on for a little NPS history.

More on the National Park Service’s 104th birthday

The NPS has a page for its birthday this year, where it writes the following:

“On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation establishing the National Park Service. At the same time, women across the country were fighting to guarantee their right to vote throughout the United States, a right that would finally be recognized when the 19th Amendment became part of the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, the day after the fourth birthday of the National Park Service.

“Now, as we celebrate the 104th birthday of the National Park Service, we are also recognizing the centennial of the amendment that strengthened the public position of women in American civic life, empowering them to be stronger advocates for the places that became part of the National Park System over the next 100 years.

“From nature’s wonders in the Florida Everglades, to the Washington, DC, home where abolitionist and suffragist Frederick Douglass did some of his famous work and the California landscape where Japanese American families were incarcerated during World War II, many of America’s important places are protected because women used their civic voices in their communities and nationwide.”

For a longer history, check out this page.

Find a park

You can look up NPS parks by state on this page.


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