There was no greater supporter of Yellowstone Park than Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, many people think he was the founder of the Park. Perhaps that’s because of the Roosevelt Arch, a rustic stone structure at the north entrance near Gardiner, Montana. Indeed, Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the arch in 1903, but that was 30 years after President Ulysses S. Grant signed the congressional act that created the Park.
The top of the arch is inscribed with a quote from the Organic Act of 1872, the legislation that created Yellowstone. It reads “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People,” but it’s also for preservation of the wildlife and other natural wonders.
TR was a great fan of the Park, visited there many times and supported laws forbidding hunting there. But he was also an avid hunter who thought one of the Park’s main functions was to serve as an endless well spring of trophy game animals that could be harvested just outside its boundaries. In fact, he hunted near the Park many times and killed animals of all kinds. But the cartoon above shows TR calling a truce with the animals to celebrate Thanksgiving.
So, Happy Thankgiving Everybody! And add America’s wonderful national parks — and the people with the foresight to preserve them — to your list of things to be grateful for.
- Image from the U.S. Library of Congress.
You might also like:
- Near Roughing it with TR — 1890.
- Teddy Roosevelt Bags and Elk and the Two Ocean Pass — 1891.
- The Army Protects TR from a Snooping Reporter — 1903.
- Skiing with Theodore Roosevelt in Yellowstone Park — 1903
Remember! You can read many more stories about early travel to Yellowstone Park in my books — available now at your favorite book store or on the web.
Macon’s Perfect Shot — A mid-grades novel about a 14-year-old boy’s adventures in Yellowstone Park in the 1870s. Based on the author’s extensive research Macon’s Perfect Shot provides an authentic picture of the world’s first national park when it was still an untamed wilderness.
Adventures in Yellowstone — A dozen gripping stories of the early years of America’s most cherished national park in the words of the people who lived the adventures. Includes classic tales like Truman Everts’ account of being lost alone in the Yellowstone wilderness for 37 days, and Emma Cowan’s story of being captured by Indians.
The Stories of Yellowstone — Seventy-two short stories designed to be read in a single sitting. The stories in the book span the period from 1807, when John Colter first discovered the wonders of the Yellowstone plateau to the 1920s when tourists sped between luxury hotels in their automobiles