August 20 — The Great Fire (1910)

Raging forest fires have become a regular news item in the summers of recent years, but no fire has ever come close to the fire that burned in Idaho during the summer of 1910.  Known as the Big Blow and the Great Fire, it started on the night of August 20. The year had begun […]

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August 19 — Cickamauga and Chattanooga Battlefield established

The first military battlefield protected by the U.S. government was the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Memorial Park, established on August 19, 1890.  The park preserves various locations in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee, that comprised an important Civil War confrontation during the second half of1863. The park pre-dated all other battlefield parks, including Gettysburg (established five […]

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August 18 — Margaret Murie born (1902)

Margaret “Mardy” Murie, known widely as the “Grandmother of Conservation,” was born on August 18, 1902 (died 2003).  Along with her husband, Olaus Murie, she spent a lifetime—a 101-year lifetime—in the service of wilderness preservation. Margaret Elizabeth Thomas was born in Seattle, but moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, as a girl.  She became the first woman […]

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August 17 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore created (1937)

On August 17, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law an act that established the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Although created by this law, the park did not actually come into existence until the mid-1950s, when enough land had been acquired to merit the area’s designation as a functioning National Park Service facility. Cape Hatteras […]

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August 15 — Sponge Act passed (1914)

The United States passed into law the “New Sponge-Mining Act” on August 15, 1914.  This act replaced and repealed a prior act of the same type, passed on June 20, 1906.  The 1906 law was the first expression of the authority of the United States government to regulate commercial fishing. The Sponge Act, as it […]

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