These 100 things are just a few of the remarkable finds worth celebrating as we mark the National Park Service's 100th birthday.
1. The world’s greatest concentration of geysers and hot springs.
2. Lyndon B. Johnson’s amphibious car.
3. The real-world location of the forest moon of Endor.
4. The oldest working lighthouse in the country.
5. The largest active sand dunes in the Arctic.
6. Carl Sandburg’s typewriter.
7. The largest gypsum dune field in the world.
8. The Bible used to inaugurate George Washington as president.
9. Fossils of the world’s only known nursery herd of Columbian mammoths.
10. The world’s first industrial-scale plutonium reactor.
11. The place where Apollo 14 astronauts studied geology to prepare for their trip to the moon.
12. An original eight-pointed fort from the Revolutionary War.
13. The largest, densest Joshua tree forest in the world.
14. The largest mausoleum in North America.
15. The site of the first transatlantic wireless communication.
16. The school where nine children fought for a desegregated educational system.
17. The longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world.
18. The endangered Devils Hole pupfish — one of the rarest fish on Earth.
19. The site of the fastest glacial retreat ever documented.
20. A 30-foot-tall granite statue of Martin Luther King, Jr.
21. The first international dark-sky park in the world.
22. The only U.S. museum dedicated exclusively to the history of immigration.
23. The longest arch bridge in the country.
24. The greatest concentration of glaciers in North America.
25. The Channel Islands fox, one of the smallest canine species in the world.
26. The bicycle shop Orville and Wilbur Wright owned before they learned to fly.
27. The cornfield where soldiers fought during the single bloodiest day on American soil.
28. Thomas Edison’s chemistry lab.
29. The woods and garden where George Washington Carver developed his love of plants.
30. The remains of Theodore Roosevelt’s “home ranch.”
31. A collection of Native Alaskan totem poles displayed at the 1904 World’s Fair.
32. The longest natural arch in North America (which could collapse at any moment).
33. The site of the first women’s rights convention in the United States.
34. The largest tree (by volume) in the world.
35. The oldest African-American church building still standing in the United States.
36. The spot where engineers completed the first transcontinental railroad.
37. The nation’s first water-powered cotton mill.
38. The parlor room where Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the Civil War.
39. The largest World War II incarceration site (by population).
40. The 1,800-mile route Pony Express riders used to deliver mail before the invention of the telegraph.
41. The deepest lake in the country.
42. The only large concentration of organ pipe cacti in the United States.
43. An insect that looks like Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander.
44. The largest firing Civil War reproduction cannon in the United States.
45. The only place in America where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times.
46. The section of wild river that inspired Thoreau’s “Maine Woods.”
47. The first permanent English settlement in the United States.
48. The largest maar lakes in the world.
49. The largest concentration of hoodoos in the world.
50. One of the snowiest places on Earth.
51. The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.
52. The site where George Washington’s army survived the coldest winter of the Revolutionary War.
53. The tallest sand dunes in North America.
54. César Chávez’s office and library.
55. The room where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed.
56. The highest mountain in North America.
57. The Deringer that killed Abraham Lincoln.
58. The tallest brick lighthouse in the country.
59. The only fort where all four regiments of Buffalo Soldiers were once stationed.
60. The only place where George Washington ever surrendered a battle.
61. The mountain peak where Jack Kerouac spent a summer working as a fire lookout.
62. North America’s largest subpolar ice field.
63. The site of the Stonewall Uprising, a turning point in the modern LGBT rights movement.
64. The court where Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom.
65. The place that inspired America’s national anthem.
66. The largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere.
67. The largest concentration of natural sandstone arches in the world.
68. The site of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
69. The place with the hottest air temperature ever recorded.
70. The field hospital where Walt Whitman served as a nurse during the Civil War.
71. The largest area of tallgrass prairie remaining on Earth.
72. The 377-foot-long Gettysburg Cyclorama.
73. The largest concentration of saguaro cacti in the world.
74. Eugene O’Neill’s writing desk.
75. The longest known cave system in the world.
76. The bedroom where John F. Kennedy was born.
77. The largest concentration of mammals in the Lower 48.
78. The site of John Brown’s raid.
79. The birthplace of the first African-American labor union.
80. The endangered, lungless Shenandoah salamander.
81. The longest canyon in the United States.
82. Clara Barton’s extensive collection of books and awards.
83. The plaster model Gutzon Borglum used to sculpt Mount Rushmore.
84. The Y-12 complex where workers unknowingly enriched uranium to build nuclear weapons.
85. The pen Lyndon B. Johnson used to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
86. The field where 40 men and women gave their lives to stop a larger terrorist attack.
87. The tallest monument in the Western Hemisphere.
88. The hydropowered industrial park Alexander Hamilton helped found in 1792.
89. The site of the first successful flight of a powered aircraft.
90. The birthplace of Booker T. Washington.
91. The longest hiking-only footpath in the world.
92. The site of the worst homeland disaster of World War II, which helped desegregate the military.
93. The largest Doric column ever built.
94. The wettest rainforest in the country.
95. Frederick Douglass’ growlery.
96. The site of the first French colony in the United States.
97. The house where both Louisa May Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne once lived.
98. The mist forestfly.
99. Mamie Eisenhower’s custom engraved pink telephone.
100. John Muir’s scribble den.
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About the author
Jennifer Errick Managing Editor of Online Communications
Jennifer co-produces NPCA's podcast, The Secret Lives of Parks, and writes, edits and moderates online content.