National parks, memorials, monuments, and sites across the United States have been dedicated to former Presidents who have made important contributions to our country’s history. In this way future generations are provided with information surrounding these areas and these great men who have helped in creating history. In studying these sites we will take an exciting adventure from the east coast to the west coast, discovering cities and states which contain national parks, memorials, monuments, and sites.
One of the most famous sites honoring presidents is Mount Rushmore National Memorial located in the hills of South Dakota. The faces of four of our nation’s greatest presidents have been carved in the granite hills near Keystone, South Dakota. These figures symbolize the birth and trials of the first 150 years of the United States. Individually they represent the ideals of the nation. George Washington signifies the struggle for independence and the birth of the Republic, Thomas Jefferson the idea of representative government, Abraham Lincoln the permanent union of the United States and equality for all citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt the 20th-century role of the United States in world affairs.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a Shrine of Democracy. Sixty million years ago this land was in turmoil. Hills and mountains were being thrust up and gradually eroded. On the nearly indestructible granite face of one of these peaks, Mount Rushmore, the heads of four American Presidents have been carved in bold relief. The Memorial idea came about in 1923. Doane Robinson, the South Dakota State historian, conceived the idea of carving colossal statues of romantic western heroes such as Jim Bridger, John Colter, and Kit Carson on the granite formations known as the Needles in the Black Hills. The proposal had only moderate public acceptance, and at times criticism of the project was severe. But Robinson was able to gain the influential support of South Dakota Senator Peter Norbeck and Representative William Williamson. Slowly public opinion changed, the memorial was authorized, and some funds were obtained to begin work. Robinson invited the sculptor Gutzon Borglum to the Black Hills in the autumn of 1924 to study the proposal.
John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum was born in St. Charles, Idaho, on March 25, 1867. He began painting at an early age, and in his twenties sales of his work enabled him to study art in France for several years. It was there, in 1890, that he began to sculpt. His final paintings were completed in 1903, and from that time on he worked only as a sculptor. His fame grew, as did the size of his work. In 1915 he was asked by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to carve the head of General Robert E. Lee on Stone Mountain in Georgia. Work did not begin until 1923 but some demands made by Borglum soon led to his dismissal. The invitation to the Black Hills presented him with an opportunity to create a monument whose dimensions would be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated. For this purpose a location other than the Needles was needed. After much searching Borglum selected Mount Rushmore because of its smooth granite, its 5,725-foot height dominated the surrounding terrain, and it faced the sun most of the day.
Work began August 10, 1927, the same day President Coolidge officially dedicated Mount Rushmore as a National Memorial. Fourteen years were needed to bring the sculpture to its present appearance, but because of delays by lack of funds and bad weather only six and a half years were actually spent carving.
In the early years private donations supported the project, but when more funds were required the Federal Government assumed full financial responsibility. Federal appropriation accounted for $836,000 of the $990,000 spent on the memorial between 1927 and 1941. In March of the latter year Borglum died. His son Lincoln continued the project until funds ran out later that year. Lincoln had worked very closely with his father on the monument. Since funding ran out no additional work has been done.
Mount Rushmore honors four of our nation’s greatest presidents. However these presidents have also been honored with other national memorials, monuments and sites. Not only these Presidents but several others have also been honored with national historic memorials, monuments and sites. Besides the before mentioned Presidents these Presidents: John Adams, John Q. Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, James A. Garfield, William H. Taft, Herbert C. Hoover, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter have been honored either by national historic monuments, memorials, and/or sites. In order to give you a clear and concise historical view of these great men and their honorariums, they will be listed in the order in which they held the Office of President beginning with George Washington.
George Washington was our nation’s first president born on February 22, 1732 in Pope’s Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was a member of the Federalist party and served as president from April 30, 1789 to March 3, 1797. The important events while he held office are as follows: Department of Foreign Affairs (State Department), Department of War, Treasury Department, Post Office Department, and Office of the Attorney General established in 1789. First session of U. S. Supreme Court (1790), First U.S. census authorized (1790), District of Columbia established (1791), Vermont admitted as the 14th state (1791), First ten amendments to the Constitution-the Bill of Rights ratified (1791), Kentucky admitted as the l5th state (1792), Cornerstone of the White House laid (1792), Cornerstone of the Capitol laid (1793), Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin (1794), Tennessee admitted as the l6th state (1796).
George Washington Birthplace National Monument is the birthplace of the first U. S. President. The park includes a memorial mansion and gardens, and the tombs of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather established January 23, 1930. Washington Monument is a dominating feature of the Nation’s Capital. This 555-foot obelisk honors the country’s first President, George Washington. The architect-designer was Robert Mills. Authorized January 31, 1848. George Washington Memorial parkway is a landscaped riverfront parkway linking many landmarks in the life of George Washington. In connects Mount Vernon and Great Falls on the Virginia side of the Potomac and Great Falls with Chain Bridge on the Maryland side. Act providing for acquisition of land, establishment, and development of the parkway May 29, 1930. Fort Washington Park is across the Potomac from Mount Vernon built to protect Washington, D.C. Construction was begun in 1814 to replace the 1809 fort destroyed by the British. The park has recreational facilities.
John Adams was our nation’s second president born on October 30, 1735, in Braintree Massachusetts. He was a member of the Federalist party and served as president from March 4, 1797 to March 3, 1801. The important events while he held office are as follows: First naval vessel, United States, launched in Philadelphia (1797), Mississippi Territory created (1798), Navy Department created (1798), Marine Corps created (1798), Library of Congress established (1800), Capital moved to Washington, D.C. (1800). Adams National Historic Site was the home of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, of the U. S. Minister to Great Britian Charles Francis Adams, and of the writers and historians Henry Adams and Brooks Adams. The park also includes the birthplaces of the two presidents and the United First Parish Church. Designated as Adams Mansion National Historic Site December 9, 1946; changed to Adams National Historic Site November 26, 1952.
Thomas Jefferson was our nation’s third president born on April 13, 1743, in Shadwell, Virginia. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican party and served as president from March 4, 1801 to March 3, 1809. The important events while he held office are as follows: U. S. Military Academy authorized (1802), Ohio admitted as 17th state (1803), Louisiana Purchase treaty signed (1803), Lewis and Clark left St. Louis on their expedition to the Pacific (1803), Robert Fulton’s steamboat, the Clermont, made trip on Hudson River in New York (1807), Illinois Territory established (1809). The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a circular, colonnaded structure in the classic style introduced in this country by Jefferson, memorializes the author of the Declaration of Independence and President from 1801 to 1809. The interior walls present inscriptions from his writings. The heroic statue was sculpted by Rudulph Evans; architects were John Russell Pope and associates, Otto Eggers and Daniel Higgins. The site was authorized June 26, 1934.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park on St. Louis, Mississippi riverfront memorializes Thomas Jefferson and others who directed territorial expansion of the United States. Eeero Saarinen’s prize-winning, stainless steel gateway arch commemorates westward pioneers. Visitors may ascend the 630-foot-high arch. In the nearby courthouse Dred Scott sued for freedom in the historic slavery case. The site was designated December 20, 1935, and authorized May 17, 1954.
John Quincy Adams was our nation’s sixth president born on July 11, 1767, in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican party and served as president from March 4, 1825 to March 3, 1829. The important events while he held office are as follows: Erie Canal opened for traffic (1825), Construction began on Baltimore and Ohio railroad (1828). Adams National Historic site was the home of President John Quincy Adams located in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Martin Van Buren was our nation’s eighth president born December 5, 1782, in Kinderhook, New York. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as president from March 4, 1837 to March 3, 1841. The important events while he held office are as follows: Patent for manufacture of rubber obtained by Charles Goodyear (1837), Boundary treaty with Texas signed (1838), Iowa territorial government authorized (1838).
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site Lindenwald was the retirement home of Martin Van Buren, eighth President of the United States, and one of the principal architects of the Democratic Party. The mansion has been restored to its appearance during Van Buren’s time. The site was authorized October 26, 1974.
Abraham Lincoln was our nation’s sixteenth president born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. He was a member of the Republican party and served as president from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865. The important events while he held office are as follows: First attack in Civil War at Fort Sumter, South Carolina (1861), Battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac (1862), Emancipation Proclamation issued (1862), West Virginia admitted as 35th state (1863), Nevada admitted as 36th state (1864), General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, ending the Civil War (1865).
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site located in Hodgenville, Kentucky, is an early 19th-century Kentucky cabin, symbolic of the one in which Lincoln was born. It is preserved in a memorial building at the site of his birth. Established as Abraham Lincoln National Park July 17, 1916; transferred from War Department August 10, 1933; changed to a national historical park August 11, 1939; redesignated and renamed September 8, 1959.
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial located in Lincoln City, Indiana is where Abraham Lincoln grew into manhood. His mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried there.
Lincoln Home National Historic site located in Springfield, Illinois is where Abraham Lincoln resided for seventeen years before he became President. The surrounding historic zone captures the atmosphere that Lincoln knew. This site was authorized August 18, 1971.
Lincoln Memorial located in Washington, D.C. is a classical structure of great beauty which contains a marble seated statue 19-feet high of the Great Emancipator by sculptor Daniel Chester French. Architect of the building was Henry Bacon. This site was authorized February 9, 1911.
Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site located in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot while attending a show here at 511 Tenth Street, NW. He was carried across the street to the Petersen house, where he died the next morning. The museum beneath the theater contains portions of the Olroyd Collection of Lincolniana. Act of April 7, 1866, provided for purchase of Ford’s Theatre by Federal Government; designation changed to Lincoln Museum February 12, 1932; redesignated Ford’s Theatre (Lincoln Museum) April 14, 1965.
Lincoln Historic District is located in Indiana.
Andrew Johnson was our nation’s seventeenth President born on December 29, 1808, in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as President from April 15, 1865 to March 3, 1869. The important events while he held office are as follows: the thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery (1865), Nebraska admitted as the 37th state, Secretary of State William H. Seward arranged to buy Alaska from Russia (1867), the fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, establishing rights of citizens (1868).
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site is located in Greenville, Tennessee. The site includes two homes and the tailor shop of the 17th President, and the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, where the President is buried. Authorized as a national monument August 29, 1935; redesignated a national historic site December 11, 1963.
Ulysses S. Grant was our nation’s eighteenth President born April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He was a member of the Republican Party. He served as President from March 4, 1869 to March 3, 1877. The important events while he held office are as follows: the first transcontinental railroad service happened in 1869, Alexander Graham Bell transmitted sound of the human voice on the telephone (1876), General George Custer’s forces destroyed by Indians, led by Sitting Bull at Little Big Horn, in Montana (1876), Colorado was admitted to the Union as the 38th state in 1876.
General Grant National Memorial is located in New York, New York. This memorial to Ulysses S. Grant, the Union commander who brought the Civil War to an end, includes the tombs of General and Mrs. Grant. Grant signed the act establishing the first national park, Yellowstone, March 1, 1872. The memorial is on Riverside Drive near West 122nd Street, dedicated on April 27, 1897. It was placed under the National Park Service, May 1, 1959.
General Grant National Park located in Kings Canyon National Park in Three Rivers, California. This park consists of two enormous canyons of the King River and the summit peaks of the High Sierra dominate this mountain wilderness. General Grant Grove, with its giant sequoias, is a detached section of the park. General Grant National Park was established October 1, 1890, the name changed and was combined with additional land March 4, 1958.
James A. Garfield was our nation’s twentieth President born November 19, 1831, in Orange, Ohio. He was a member of the Republican Party and served as President from March 4, 1881 to September 19, 1881. He was assassinated after only five months in office. The only important event that took place was the organization of the American Red Cross, that was founded by Clara Barton, a nurse during the Civil War.
James A. Garfield National Historic Site is located in Mentor, Ohio. This site preserves property associated with the life of the President. The site is currently managed by a private organization and is open to the public. It was authorized December 28, 1980.
William McKinley was our nation’s twenty-fifth President born on January 29, 1843, in Niles, Ohio. He was a member of the Republican party and served as President from March 4, 1897 to September 14, 1901. The important events while he held office are as follows: Battleship Maine blown up in Havana harbor, and the U. S. declared war on Spain (1898), Hawaii acquired by the U. S. (1898), Treaty of Paris, ending Spanish-American War, signed (1898), Guam, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and American Samoa acquired by the U. S. (1899).
Denali National Park and Preserve located in McKinley Park, Alaska contains North America’s highest mountain, 20,320-foot Mount McKinley. Large glaciers of the Alaska Range, caribou, Dall sheep, moose, grizzly bears, and timber wolves are other highlights of this national park and preserve. Established as Mt. McKinley National Park February 26, 1917.
Theodore Roosevelt was our nation’s twenty-sixth President born on October 27, 1858, in New York, New York. He was a member of the Republican Party and served as President from September 14, 1901 to March 3, 1909. The important events while he held office are as follows: first wireless signal received from Europe (1901), Departments of Commerce and Labor created (1903), Wright brother’s airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (1903), Panama Canal zone acquired by the U.S. (1904), San Francisco earthquake (1906), Oklahoma admitted as 46th state (1907), American battleships departed on “round-the-world cruise” (1907).
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic site located in New York, New York, is where the twenty-sixth President was born. The brownstone house was demolished in 1916, it was reconstructed, rededicated and furnished in 1923 by the President’s widow and sisters. The site was authorized on July 25, 1962.
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historic site is the place where Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office as President of the United States on September 14, 1901, in the Ansley Wilcox House after the assassination of President William McKinley. This site is located in Buffalo, New York, and was authorized November 2, 1966.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park located in Medora, North Dakota includes scenic badlands along the Little Missouri River and part of Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch. Established as Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park April 25, 1947, and redesignated November 10, 1978.
Theodore Roosevelt Island located in Turkey Run Park, McLean, Virginia. On this wooded island sanctuary in the Potomac River, trails lead to an imposing statue of Roosevelt the conservation-minded twenty-sixth President, by Paul Manship. His tenets on nature, manhood, youth, and the state are inscribed on tablets. This site was authorized May 21, 1932.
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site located in Oyster Bay, New York. This estate was the home of Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 until his death in 1919. Used as the “Summer White House” 1901-08, it contains original furnishings. The Old Orchard Museum is on the grounds. This site was authorized July 25, 1962.
William Howard Taft was our nation’s twenty-seventh President born September 15, 1857, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a member of the Republican Party and the important events while he held office are as follows: Peary discovered the North Pole (1909), New Mexico admitted as the 47th state (1912), Arizona admitted as 48th state (1912), Parcel Post service begins (1913), Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution ratified, establishing the income tax 1913).
William Howard Taft National Historic Site is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. William Howard Taft, the only person to serve as both President from March 4, 1909 to March 3, 1913, and Chief Justice of the United States (1921-30), was born and raised in this house, which has been restored. This site was authorized December 2, 1969.
Herbert Clark Hoover was our nation’s thirty-first President born August 10, 1874, in West Branch, Iowa. He was a member of the Republican Party and served as President from March 4, 1929 to March 3, 1933. The important events while he held office are as follows: Stock market selling panic preceded the Great Depression (1929), Richard Byrd made South Pole flight (1929), Amelia Earhart completed first transatlantic solo flight by a woman (1932), Congress proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution: President’s term of office to begin on January 20 (rather than March 4) (1932); ratification completed January 23, 1933.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is located in West Branch, Indiana. The birthplace, Friends Meetinghouse, and boyhood neighborhood of the 31st President, the gravesite of President and Mrs. Hoover, and the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are within the park. The library and museum are administered by the National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration. This site was authorized August 12, 1965.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our nation’s thirty-second President born on January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as President from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945. The important events while he held office are as follows: Social Security Act passed (1935), National minimum wage enacted (1938), Registration for Selective Service began (1940), Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines; U. S. declared war against Japan; Germany and Italy declared war against the U. S. (1941), Pay-as-you-go income tax bill signed (1943).
Roosevelt Campobello International Park is located in Lubec, Maine. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken here at his summer home in New Brunswick, Canada, at the age of 39 by poliomyelitis. This is the first international park to be administered by a joint commission. Established July 7, 1964.
Harry S. Truman was our nation’s thirty-third President born May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as President from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953. The important events while he held office are as follows: U. S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japan to surrender (1945), Congress approved “Truman Doctrine”, authorizing aid to Greece and Turkey (1947), North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) signed by twelve nations (1949), the 22nd Amendment ratified (1951). It stated that “no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”
Harry S. Truman National Historic Site is located in Independence, Missouri. Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President, called this Victorian structure home from 1919 until his death in 1972. Constructed by Mrs. Truman’s grandfather, it was known as the “Summer White House” from 1945 to 1953. Established May 23, 1983.
Dwight David Eisenhower was our nation’s thirty-fourth President born on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas. He was a member of the Republican Party and served as President from January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961. The important events while he held office are as follows: Korean War ended with signing of armistice (1953), first nuclear submarine, Nautilus, launched (1954), Supreme Court declared racial segregation in schools unconstitutional (1954), Eisenhower Doctrine bill signed, authorizing use of U. S. forces to assist Middle East nations threatened by Communist aggression (1957), first underground nuclear explosion (1957), Federal troops sent to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce integration of black students (1957), first American satellite, Explorer I, launched (1958), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established (1958), Alaska and Hawaii admitted as the 49th and 50th states (1959).
Eisenhower National Historic Site is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This was the only home ever owned by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie. It served as a refuge when he was President and as a retirement home after he left office. Designated November 27, 1967; authorized by act of Congress December 2, 1969.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was our nation’s thirty-fifth President born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as President from January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963. The important events while he held office are as follows: first live television press conference held (1961), Peace Corps created (1961), U. S. launched Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuba (1961), East Germany closed border between East and West Berlin (1961), Lieut. Col. John Glenn, first U. S. astronaut to be put into orbit, orbited earth three times (1962), Supreme Court declared public school prayers to be unconstitutional (1962), more than 200,000 Americans participated in Civil Rights march, Washington, D.C. (1963).
John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site is located in Brookline, Massachusetts. This house is the birthplace and early boyhood home of the 35th President. This site was authorized October 9, 1972.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located in Washington, D. C. Cultural events are presented in this structure designed by Edward Durell Stone. The building contains the Eisenhower Theater, a concert hall, an opera house, the American Film Institute Theater, the Terrace Theater, and restaurants. Authorized as National Cultural Center, September 2, 1958.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was our nation’s thirty-sixth President born on August 27, 1908, in Stonewall, Texas. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as President from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969. The important events while he held office are as follows: Civil Rights Act signed into law (1964), Anti-poverty legislation signed by President (1964), “Great Society” program proposed by President in State of the Union message (1964), first American combat troops arrived in Vietnam (1965), Early Bird, world’s first commercial satellite, launched (1965), President signed Medicare and voting rights bills (1965), Department of Housing and Urban Affairs created (1965), artificial heart pump successfully implanted (1966), Dr. Martin Luther King assassinated (1968), Senator Robert F. Kennedy assassinated (1968).
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is located in Johnson City, Texas. The park consists of the birthplace, boyhood home, and ranch of the 36th President, and his grandparents’ cattle ranch. Authorized December 2, 1969, as a national historic site.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac is located in Turkey Run Park, McLean, Virginia. A living memorial to the 36th President, the park overlooks the Potomac River vista of the Capital. The design features 500 white pines and inscriptions on Texas granite. This site was authorized December 28, 1973.
James Earl Carter was our thirty-ninth President born on October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as President from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. The important events while he held office are as follows: President established “human rights” as a key element in his foreign policy (1977), U. S. officially recognized the People’s Republic of China (1979), Canal zone ceded to Republic of Panama (1979), U. S. Embassy personnel taken hostage in Iran (1979), more than 125,000 refugees fled Cuba for the U.S. (1980), Iran returned hostages to the U. S. (1981).
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site is located in Andersonville, Georgia. The rural southern culture of Plains, Georgia, that revolves around farming, church and school had a large influence in molding the character and in shaping the political policies of the 39th President of the United States. The site includes President Carter’s residence, boyhood home, and high school. The railroad depot, which served as campaign headquarters during the 1976 election, is now the park’s visitor center. The Jimmy Carter National Preservation District, separate from the park, includes part of the town of Plains and its environs. The area surrounding the residence is under the protection of the Secret Service, and no attempt should be made to enter. This site was authorized December 23, 1987.
The White House located in Washington, D. C. has been the residence and office of the Presidents of the United States since November 1800. The cornerstone was laid October 13, 1792, on the site selected by George Washington and included in the L’Enfant Plan; renovations were made 1949-52. Transferred August 10, 1933, to National Park Service.
Presidents who have units have them because their units met the eligibility requirements sustained by the National Park Service for becoming units. While others did not necessarily meet these requirements, therefore they are landmarks. Those Presidents who have no units or landmarks is due to the lack of funding, preservation and political careers of these Presidents. In order to have a unit, it must meet this criteria:
It is an outstanding example of a particular type of resource.
It possesses exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the natural or cultural themes of our nation’s heritage.
It offers superlative opportunities for recreation, public use, and enjoyment or for scientific study.
It retains a high degree of integrity as a true, accurate, and relatively unspoiled example of a resource.