It all started in 1864, when Congress donated Yosemite Valley to California for preservation as a state park. Eight years later, in 1872, Congress reserved the Yellowstone country in the Wyoming and Montana territories as a public park. Since the territories were not states, they could not take care of the park, thus the National Park Service (in its first incarnation) was established.
Soon Congress followed the Yellowstone precedent with other national parks in the 1890s and early 1900s, including Sequoia, Yosemite ( California returned Yosemite Valley to the federal government), Mount Rainier, Crater Lake, and Glacier.
Today there are more than 400 National Parks across the United States.
This week is designated as National Parks Week, and to celebrate, all US national parks will be offering free admission on April 22nd and 23rd. What park will you go to?