TODAY IN HISTORY: The Grand Canyon becomes a National Park (Feb. 26, 1919)
In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation giving the Grand Canyon status as a National Monument. On February 26th, 1919, by an act of the United States Congress, Grand Canyon National Monument became Grand Canyon National Park. Today, the National Park receives over 4 million visitors and contains over 1.2 million acres, about the same size as the state of Delaware.
Grand Canyon a UNESCO World Heritage site
It is now also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In places the Canyon is well over a mile deep and it’s width ranges from a quarter mile to over 18 miles wide. At Point Imperial its elevation is 9,000 feet. The exposed rock layers display over two billion years of geologic history. Temperatures on the North Rim tend to be 30 degrees F cooler than at river level in summer. Few visitors walk to the river and far fewer walk from rim to rim. Park rangers and visitors often find novice hikers in distress along the canyon trails and a few fatalities occur each year from dehydration and other hiking maladies. Organized river camping treks are available and official programs, interpretive talks, museums and Junior Ranger programs are made offered through the National Park Service.