Please complete the following assignment in time for class on Friday, January 14. Please be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below and also be prepared to discuss these readings in class.
Thread 1: NPS History & Policy
Assignment: Read the following online documents and respond to the questions below.
Barry Mackintosh, The National Park Service: A Brief History
Barry Mackintosh, Interpretation in the National Park Service: A Historical Perspective, Chapters 1-3.
National Park Service, Holding the High Ground
NPS Historian Barry Mackintosh’s two works represent the official in-house introduction to NPS history and interpretation, and the purpose of these readings is to provide additional background on how the NPS has grown as an agency. Chapter 2 of Interpretation in the National Park Service should be of particular interest for our work on this project, as many of the historic sites and interpretive programs we’ll be encountering trace their roots to this era.
As you read, do you see any connections or parallels between the evolution of the field of interpretation and the NPS as an agency? Be particularly attentive to the NPS’ addition of historic sites after 1933 and the growth of historical interpretation.
Dr. Robert K. Sutton, Chief Historian for the NPS (and, as he shared with us during the conference call today, a PSU graduate) has been a leading force in expanding interpretation of the Civil War beyond an exclusive interpretation of military tactics and battles. After reading the third and fourth documents above, how do you see the NPS’ approach to the Civil War Sesquicentennial connecting to the agency’s history and the evolution of historic interpretation?