Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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December 2nd
Purple Mountain Majesties
On December 2, 1980, Congress created the world’s largest continuously protected area when it expanded Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska to more than 6 million acres (larger than the state of New Hampshire). The park’s centerpiece is Mount McKinley, at 20,320 feet the highest peak in North America. The mountain is also known as Denali, which in the language of the Athabaskan Indians means “the high one.” Other famous U.S. peaks include:

Mount Whitney, CA
14,494 ft. – Highest peak in the Lower 48 states

Mount Elbert, CO
14,433 ft. – Highest peak in the U.S. Rockies

Mount Rainier, WA
14,410 ft. – Highest peak in Cascades; covered with glaciers

Pikes Peak, CO
14,110 ft. – Inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen “America the Beautiful”

Mauna Kea, HI
13,796 ft. – World’s tallest mountain (33,476 ft.) from base on ocean floor to peak

Grand Teton, WY
13,770 ft. – One of America’s most jagged, soaring peaks

Mauna Loa, HI
13,677 ft. – World’s largest volcano

Mount St. Helens, WA
8,364 ft. – Killed 57 in violent 1980 eruption

Mount Mitchell, NC
6,684 ft. – Highest peak east of the Mississippi

Clingmans Dome, TN/NC
6,643 ft. – Highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains

Mount Washington, NH
6,288 ft. – Highest peak in New England; famous for 200-mph winds

Mount Rushmore, SD
5,725 ft. – Site of Gutzon Borglum’s giant sculpture of four presidents

Mount Marcy, NY
5,344 ft. – Highest peak in the Adirondacks

Mount Katahdin, ME
5,268 ft. – Northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail

Springer Mt., GA
3,782 ft. – Southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail

American History Parade
The Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, dedicates the Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in America.

President James Monroe outlines his doctrine opposing European interference in the Western Hemisphere, known as the Monroe Doctrine.

John Brown is hanged for his raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry.

At the University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi and others give the first demonstration of a controlled nuclear chain reaction.

Congress creates the 6-million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve.

Doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implant the first permanent artificial heart in a human; the patient, Barney Clark, lives 112 days.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb

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