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Manifest Destiny

National Parks Are More Than Scenic − They’re Sacred

Abraham Lincoln has an almost saintly place in U.S. history: the “Great Emancipator” whose leadership during the Civil War preserved the Union and abolished slavery. Often overlooked among his achievements is legislation he signed June 30, 1864, during the thick of the war – but only marginally related to the conflict. The Yosemite Valley Grant Act preserved the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove in California as a park “held for public use, resort, and recreation … for all time.” It was the first time the federal government had set aside land for its scenic value, and it created a model for U.S. national parks, which are themselves hallowed sites in American culture.
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