Yellowstone was named a national park on this date in 1872. Written descriptions of Yellowstone began to appear in the East Coast media over the next few decades, but most of them were dismissed as tall tales. Mountain man Jim Bridger insisted over and over that he had seen petrified trees and waterfalls shooting upward into the sky. Trapper Joe Meek, describing the Norris Geyser basin, recounted stories of steaming rivers, boiling mud, and fire and brimstone. Because of the Native American wars and the Civil War, the United States Geological Survey did not come in to investigate Yellowstone until 1871. The crew submitted a 500-page report to Congress, and on March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Act of Dedication to preserve more than 2 million acres of wilderness as the world's first national park.

Thank you General Grant ! We can only wish some of our present leaders could have such foresight!