October 1, 2014 commemorates the 124th anniversary of Yosemite National Park, which was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison on October 1, 1890. The legislation preserved and protected more than 1,500 square miles, including Tuolumne Meadows, the park’s high country, and Hetch Hetchy. Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias were still under the control of the State of California due to the provisions of the Yosemite Grant. However, the combination of the legislation and the existing Yosemite Grant comprised most of Yosemite National Park as it is known today.
“We’re excited to commemorate the 124th anniversary of the creation of Yosemite National Park,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “Yosemite National Park belongs to the American people and we are honored to share the legacy and importance of Yosemite as one of our nation’s first national parks.”
Earlier this year, on June 30th, the park commemorated the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant. This landmark legislation preserved and protected Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, thus paving the way for national parks across the country. Next year, the park will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the creation of Yosemite National Park.
The National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior, was established on August 25, 1916. In two years, the entire National Park Service will commemorate the Centennial, celebrating 100 years of caring for America’s treasures.
After visiting Yosemite and spending time with famed naturalist John Muir, President Theodore Roosevelt pledged to make Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove a part of Yosemite National Park. The State of California receded Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to the federal government June 11, 1906.