Happy 96th Birthday Grand Canyon National Park!

On February 26, 1919, Congress established Grand Canyon National Park, effectively endorsing the actions of Presidents Benjamin Harrison and Teddy Roosevelt, who between them created Grand Canyon Forest Reserve, Grand Canyon Game Reserve, and Grand Canyon National Monument. In 1973, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater introduced a bill that greatly expanded Grand Canyon National Park, so that the present park includes all of the Grand Canyon not within the Hualapai, Havasupai, and Navajo Indian Reservations. Efforts are currently underway to protect the region surrounding the Grand Canyon as the 1.7-million acre Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.

Here's what Teddy Roosevelt had to say after his first visit to the Grand Canyon in 1903:

"In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.