by Gerald Boerner
Due to injury, this commentary will be added later. Please check back. Thank you. GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 2792 Words ]
Quotations Related to Monuments
“Monuments are for the living, not the dead.”
— Frank Wedekind
“Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future.”
— Robert Smithson
“Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.”
— Thomas Fuller
“Art is very tricky because it’s what you do for yourself. It’s much harder for me to make those works than the monuments or the architecture.”
— Maya Lin
“I’m thrilled of the acceptance I get abroad. The people are so hearty, warm and grateful and I feel privileged having seen so many countries and some of the greatest monuments.”
— Daniel Radcliffe
“Monuments and archaeological pieces serve as testimonies of man’s greatness and establish a dialogue between civilizations showing the extent to which human beings are linked.”
— Vicente Fox
“I think the people will- who advocate having a step back and read those public opinion polls on the front page of the newspapers all over this country saying public supports restoration in restoration of the Everglades, protection of the parks and the creation of monuments.”
— Bruce Babbitt
“Protecting all this land, working with the President to establish all these monuments, to, you know… I think the President has a land protection record that’s second to no one in this century, maybe Teddy Roosevelt.”
— Bruce Babbitt
Teddy Roosevelt — Conservationist & National Parks Avocate
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (1858 – 1919) was the 26th President of the United States. He is famous for his energetic personality, range of interests and achievements, leadership of the Progressive Movement, and his "cowboy" image and robust masculinity. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party of 1912. Before becoming President (1901–1909) he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt’s achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.
Born to a wealthy family, Roosevelt was an unhealthy child suffering from asthma who stayed at home studying natural history. In response to his physical weakness, he embraced a strenuous life. He was home schooled and became a passionate student of nature. He attended Harvard, where he boxed and developed an interest in naval affairs. A year out of Harvard, in 1881 he ran for a seat in the state legislature. His first historical book, The Naval War of 1812, published in 1882, established his reputation as a serious historian. After a few years of living in the Badlands, Roosevelt returned to New York City, where he gained fame for fighting police corruption. He was effectively running the US Department of the Navy when the Spanish American War broke out; he resigned and led a small regiment in Cuba known as the Rough Riders, earning himself a nomination for the Medal of Honor (which was received posthumously on his behalf on January 16, 2001). After the war, he returned to New York and was elected governor; two years later he was elected Vice President of the United States.
In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated, and Roosevelt became president at the age of 42, taking office at the youngest age of any U.S. President in history. Roosevelt attempted to move the Republican Party in the direction of Progressivism, including trust busting and increased regulation of businesses. Roosevelt coined the phrase "Square Deal" to describe his domestic agenda, emphasizing that the average citizen would get a fair shake under his policies. As an outdoorsman and naturalist, he promoted the conservation movement. On the world stage, Roosevelt’s policies were characterized by his slogan, "Speak softly and carry a big stick". Roosevelt was the force behind the completion of the Panama Canal; he sent out the Great White Fleet to display American power, and he negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Roosevelt was the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
The National Park Service
In 1916, a portfolio of nine major parks was published to
generate interest. Printed on each brochure was a map
showing the parks and principal railroad connections.
National parks and national monuments in the United States were originally individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior. The movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior. They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational, inspirational, and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS.
On March 3, 1933, President Herbert C. Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933. The act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn’t until later that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department. President Roosevelt agreed and issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but also the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, which had been run by an independent office.
In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected. The demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded.
In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public. Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and then National Recreation Areas. By the end of the Twentieth Century, numerous National Heritage Areas were spread across the nation, preserving local parks for local people.
The Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower (Lakota: Mato Tipila, which means “Bear Lodge”) is a monolithic igneous intrusion or volcanic neck located in the Black Hills near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River. It rises dramatically 1,267 feet (386 m) above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 5,112 feet (1,558 m) above sea level.
Devils Tower was the first declared United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Monument’s boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres (5.45 km2).
In recent years about 1% of the Monument’s 400,000 annual visitors climb Devils Tower, mostly through traditional climbing techniques…
Tribes including the Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone had cultural and geographical ties to the monolith before European and early American immigrants reached Wyoming. Their names for the monolith include: Aloft on a Rock (Kiowa), Bear’s House (Cheyenne, Crow), Bear’s Lair (Cheyenne, Crow), Bear’s Lodge (Cheyenne, Lakota), Bear’s Lodge Butte (Lakota), Bear’s Tipi (Arapaho, Cheyenne), Tree Rock (Kiowa), and Grizzly Bear Lodge (Lakota).
The name Devil’s Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Col. Richard Irving Dodge when his interpreter misinterpreted the name to mean Bad God’s Tower. This was later shortened to the Devil’s Tower. All information signs in that area use the name "Devils Tower", following a geographic naming standard whereby the apostrophe is eliminated.
In 2005, a proposal to recognize several American Indian ties through the additional designation of the monolith as Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark met with opposition from the US Representative Barbara Cubin, arguing that a "name change will harm the tourist trade and bring economic hardship to area communities".
Native American Folklore
American Indian legends tell of six Lakota Sioux girls who were picking flowers when they were chased by bears. Feeling sorry for them, the Great Spirit raised the ground beneath the girls. The bears tried to climb the rock, but fell off, leaving their scratch marks on the sides.
Another Native American tribe, the Kiowa, had a myth similar to the Lakota’s. According to the Kiowa, seven little girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees and prayed to Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock to rise from the ground towards the Heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides which had become too steep to climb. (Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower.) When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the star constellation the Pleiades.
Another version tells that two Sioux boys wandered far from their village when Mato the bear, a huge creature that had claws the size of teepee poles, spotted them, and wanted to eat them for breakfast. He was almost upon them when the boys prayed to Wakan Tanka the Creator to help them. They rose up on a huge rock, while Mato tried to get up from every side, leaving huge scratch marks as he did. Finally, he sauntered off, disappointed and discouraged. The bear came to rest east of the Black Hills at what is now Bear Butte. Wanblee, the eagle, helped the boys off the rock and back to their village. A painting depicting this legend by artist Herbert A. Collins hangs over the fireplace in the visitor’s center at Devils Tower.
Wooden Leg, a Northern Cheyenne, relates another legend told to him by an old man as they were traveling together past the monument. An Indian man decided to sleep at the base of Bear Lodge next to a buffalo head. In the morning he found that both himself and the buffalo head had been transported to the top of the rock by the Great Medicine with no way down. He spent another day and night on the rock with no food or water. After he had prayed all day and then gone to sleep, he awoke to find that the Great Medicine had brought him back down to the ground, but left the buffalo head at the top near the edge. Wooden Leg maintains that the buffalo head was clearly visible through the old man’s spyglass.
The buffalo head gives this story special significance for the Northern Cheyenne. All the Cheyenne maintained in their camps a sacred teepee to the Great Medicine containing the tribal sacred objects. In the case of the Northern Cheyenne, the sacred object was a buffalo head.
In a speech that Roosevelt gave at Osawatomie, Kansas, on August 31, 1910, he outlined his views on conservation of the lands of the United States:
— "Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us. I ask nothing of the nation except that it so behave as each farmer here behaves with reference to his own children. That farmer is a poor creature who skins the land and leaves it worthless to his children. The farmer is a good farmer who, having enabled the land to support himself and to provide for the education of his children, leaves it to them a little better than he found it himself. I believe the same thing of a nation.
— Moreover, I believe that the natural resources must be used for the benefit of all our people, and not monopolized for the benefit of the few, and here again is another case in which I am accused of taking a revolutionary attitude. People forget now that one hundred years ago there were public men of good character who advocated the nation selling its public lands in great quantities, so that the nation could get the most money out of it, and giving it to the men who could cultivate it for their own uses. We took the proper democratic ground that the land should be granted in small sections to the men who were actually to till it and live on it. Now, with the water-power, with the forests, with the mines, we are brought face to face with the fact that there are many people who will go with us in conserving the resources only if they are to be allowed to exploit them for their benefit. That is the one of the fundamental reasons why the special interests should be driven out of politics.
— Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to inhabit the land and pass it on. Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation. Let me add that the health and vitality of our people are at least as well worth conserving as their forests, waters, lands, and minerals, and in this great work the national government must bear most important part."
One of his most lasting legacies was his significant role in the creation of 150 National Forests, five national parks, and 18 national monuments, among other works of conservation. In total, Roosevelt was instrumental in the conservation of approximately 230 million acres (930,000 km2) of American soil among various parks and other federal projects.
Other Events on this Day:
Congress passes the Judiciary Act, establishing the Supreme Court and federal judicial system.
Financial speculators Jay Gould and James Fisk attempt to corner the gold market, sparking a panic on Wall Street known as Black Friday.
President Theodore Roosevelt signs a bill establishing Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first National Monument.
The Brooklyn Dodgers play their last game at Ebbets Field, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0. The team will move to Los Angeles the following year.
The trial of the “Chicago Eight” begins before Judge Julius Hoffman. Young leftists David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale are charged with conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Dates and events based on:
William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)
Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:
Wikipedia: Theodore Roosevelt…
Wikipedia: Political Positions of Theodore Roosevelt…
Wikipedia: National Park Service…
Wikipedia: Devils Tower National Monument…
Brainy Quote: Monuments Quotes…