Today in History: October 01, 1890

Yosemite National Park Established

Congress votes to set aside almost 1,200 square miles in Yosemite Valley, Calif., as “reserved forest lands,” soon to become Yosemite National Park. The legislation calls for regulations to “provide for the preservation from injury of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said reservation, and their retention in their natural condition.” Famed environmentalist John Muir and Century Magazine editor Robert Underwood Johnson had lobbied for the area's protection after seeing the devastating effects of sheep grazing. Today, the park gets more than 3.5 million visitors.