The National Parks

The story of an idea as American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical.


  • Great Nature (1933-1945)

    Learn about the changes to the national parks during the Great Depression and World War II
  • Going Home (1920-1933)

    Encounter the growing numbers of visitors to the parks.
  • The Empire Of Grandeur (1915-1919)

    Learn about the federal agency created to protect the parks.
  • The Last Refuge (1890-1915)

    Investigate the efforts of Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and others to protect the land.
  • The Scripture of Nature (1851-1890)

    Examine the radical idea of creating national parks for the enjoyment of everyone.


  • Untold Stories | City Kids in National Parks

    Explore efforts to bring inner city kids into the parks.
  • Untold Stories | Manzanar: "Never Again"

    At the heart of this film is the annual pilgrimage to Manzanar & the words of Sue Embrey.
  • Untold Stories | Mount Rushmore: Telling America's Stories

    Discover the new interpretive program at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
  • Untold Stories | San Antonio Missions: Keeping History Alive

    San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a hub for the city's Latino community.
  • Untold Stories | Yosemite's Buffalo Soldiers

    Find out about the work of ranger Shelton Johnson.
  • Mr. President Goes to Yellowstone

    Explore Yellowstone National Park with President Obama and his family.

About The National Parks

Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales, the film is a story of people from every conceivable background—rich and poor, soldiers and scientists, natives and newcomers—who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.