The National Parks: America's Best Idea: The Scripture of Nature
Tuesday, September 2 at 9:00 p.m.
Explore the radical idea of creating national parks for the enjoyment of everyone.
In 1851, word spreads across the country of a beautiful area of California's Yosemite Valley, attracting visitors who wish to exploit the land's scenery for commercial gain and those who wish to keep it pristine. Among the latter is a Scottish-born wanderer named John Muir, for whom protecting the land becomes a spiritual calling.
Part one of Ken Burns' six-part film, "The Scripture of Nature" covers the earliest years of our National Parks history, including a the discovery of a "wonderland" in the northwest corner of the Wyoming territory that is dotted with a bizarre landscape of geysers, mud pots and sulfur pits. In 1872 it becomes our first National Park: Yellowstone.
Pictured above: Old Faithful erupting in Yellowstone National Park.
At right: A couple lounging on Eagle Rock in Yosemite National Park, circa 1902.