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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Creating a National Park

 
 
Creating a National Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, February 20, 2006
1. Creating a National Park Marker
Inscription. “It is a refuge, a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet and peace at the Capital's back door . . .” —William O. Douglas

Look around you. The park you stand in exists because people cared. In January 1954, Justice William O. Douglas of the Supreme Court of the United States responded to a Washington Post editorial recommending that the C&O Canal be turned into a parkway. Writing in support of preserving the canal as a national park, Douglas wrote, “It is a sanctuary that would be utterly destroyed by a fine two lane highway.” He invited the editors and other reporters to join him on a hike of the entire canal to enjoy its beauty and better understand his point. Merlo Pusey, who wrote the editorial, and his editor Robert Estabrook accepted the challenge.

On March 22, 1954, the hike began near Cumberland. Douglas and his companions invited authorities on the natural and cultural history of the Potomac River and the C&O Canal to join them. The hikers learned about the canal and enjoyed the scenery. After the hike, Estabrook wrote an editorial in the Post supporting setting the canal aside as a national park. The walk, and the news stories it generated, motivated hundreds to fight to save the canal. In 1961 the C&O Canal was preserved as a National Monument. Through Douglas's
Creating a National Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 10, 2016
2. Creating a National Park Marker
This view is towards the east, with the Thomas Jefferson Street bridge in the distance. The "At All Hours" marker is also visible closer to the street along the towpath.
action and the efforts of those he inspired, this park was preserved for you to enjoy. If you would like to learn what you can do to help care for the park, visit the nearest park visitor center.
 
Erected by Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
 
Location. 38° 54.255′ N, 77° 3.622′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on C&O Canal Towpath 0 miles west of Thomas Jefferson Street, NW. Touch for map. The C&O Canal Towpath is an official street in this area because there are private residences accessible only by the towpath. It is pedestrian-only since it is too narrow for cars in places and set below street level. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20007, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. At All Hours (here, next to this marker); Georgetown and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Herman Hollerith (within shouting distance of this marker); Georgetown Historic District (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Stone House (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Creating a National Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 10, 2016
3. Creating a National Park Marker
This view is towards the west along the canal and towpath towards 31st Street.
Bust of William O. Douglas image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, February 20, 2006
4. Bust of William O. Douglas
The inscription reads “In recognition of Justice William O. Douglas for his contributions towards the establishment of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. —National Park Service, May 17, 1977”
This bust is in the small towpath park between 30th and Thomas Jefferson Streets.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,217 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   2, 3. submitted on September 11, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   4. submitted on March 2, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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