Celebrating the National Parks & Park Service Speaker Series

Picture of park with mountains and trees. Text overlay about the event.

The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016. To celebrate this centennial, the WIU Libraries will be hosting a series of talks on the national parks by several WIU faculty members. The first talk, on the history of the national parks and National Park Service, will be presented on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, at 7 PM in Malpass Library's Garden Lounge (main floor), by Dr. Greg Hall, Professor of History.

Yellowstone National Park, the first National Park in the world, was established on March 1, 1872, well before the establishment of the National Park Service. The Park Service now manages 413 different units throughout the United States, including 59 national parks, 84 national monuments, as well as national battlefields, military parks, historic sites, and other sites.

Dr. Hall’s talk, “American National Parks: History and Legacy,” will cover the origin and early history of national parks in the United States. He will focus on the role of several people in the history and establishment of the national parks and National Park Service, including John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, President Theodore Roosevelt and early National Park Service officials who were significant to the establishment of national parks and to the early National Park Service. His talk will focus on Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, among others. Issues related to the history of the National Parks which will be discussed include the removal of Native Americans from the parks, conflicts between conservationists and preservationists, and balancing public access with ecosystem health.

Future talks, which are being arranged, will deal with the role of the national parks in environmental preservation; geology in the parks; and the role of the national parks in cultural resource preservation.

These events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Linda Zellmer at 309-298-2723 or