Taft National Historic Site Marks Park Service Centennial
The National Park Service is marking its centennial with a year-long celebration at parks across the country. Thursday, Aug. 25 is the 100th birthday of the NPS. In Cincinnati, the William Howard Taft National Historic Site is celebrating with reenactors and, of course, cake.
Ranger Kerry Wood is Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Operations. He says the reenactments include William Howard Taft and George Washington Williams.
"Williams was hired by Alphonso Taft to his law firm shortly after the Civil War had ended. This was a way for Alphonso Taft to show his stance against slavery. Mr. Williams, who once was a slave, becomes a free man and gets hired into the law firm. He later would advance on and become the first African-American in the Ohio state legislature."
The Taft home in Mt. Auburn is the birthplace and boyhood home of the 27th President and 10th Chief Justice of the United States. It's open year-round from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours every half hour.
Ohio is home to eight National Park Service sites:
- Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument
- Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
- Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
- William Howard Taft National Historic Site
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
- First Ladies National Historic Site
- James A. Garfield National Historic Site
- Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial
In Dayton, the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is also throwing a party. The park is marking the occasion with a Founders Day Centennial Celebration. Chief of Interpretation Jewel Harris says the day started with a bike ride, because the Wright Brothers began as bicycle sellers. The celebration includes walking tours, an art unveiling, and a cake cutting.
Further east, the National Park Service's newest site in Ohio is working with interns from Central State University and Wilberforce University to build out its social media. The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument was created on March 25, 2013.