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Contemporary Commentators

Gretel Ehrlich Add To Scrapbook

Gretel Ehrlich

Gretel Ehrlich

Episode(s): 1, 2

Gretel Ehrlich is an award-winning author whose 1994 national best-selling memoir, A Match to the Heart, details her experience of having been struck by lightning on her ranch in northern Wyoming. She wrote her first book, Solace of Open Spaces, after a 10-year career in film. She is also the author of John Muir: Nature's Visionary, published in 2000 by the National Geographic Society.

Ehrlich has written for many publications including Harper's, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post.

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John Hope Franklin on Traveling to Parks with his Family (01:09)

John Hope Franklin (1915–2009)

Episode(s): 6

Originally from Oklahoma, historian John Hope Franklin graduated from Fisk University before earning his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Among his publications are: The Emancipation Proclamation; The Militant South; The Free Negro in North Carolina; Reconstruction After the Civil War; and A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North. Perhaps his best-known book is From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans. In 2005, he published his autobiography, Mirror to America.

Franklin served on the editorial board of the Journal of Negro History and on the President's Advisory Commission on Ambassadorial Appointments. He was chairman of the Advisory Board to the President's Initiative on Race (1997–1999) and chairman of the National Parks System Advisory Board (1999–2000). In 2002, he received the Gold Medal in History, the highest award given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

At the time of his death, Franklin was the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University.

Judith Goldstein Add To Scrapbook

Judith Goldstein

Judith Goldstein

Episode(s): 3
Associated Park(s): Acadia

Judith Goldstein is a Mount Desert Island resident and author of the book Crossing Lines: Histories of Jews and Gentiles in Three Communities.

Cliff Hansen Add To Scrapbook

Cliff Hansen

Cliff Hansen

Episode(s): 5

Clifford Hansen grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and is a former governor (1963–1967) and U.S. senator (1967–1978) from that state. Prior to being elected governor, he served as a Teton County commissioner and was part of the local opposition to the expansion of Grand Teton National Park. As of 2009, he was the oldest living former U.S. senator.

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Kim Heacox on the Focus on Science in the Parks (00:49)

Kim Heacox

Episode(s): 1, 3, 5, 6

Kim Heacox is the author of many books and articles on natural history and environmental issues. They include: The Only Kayak; An American Idea: The Making of the National Parks; Shackleton: The Antarctic Challenge; and Alaska's Inside Passage. As of 2009, he makes his home in the small town of Gustavus, Alaska, at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, where he has served as a park naturalist.

With his wife, Melanie, he is building the Glacier Bay Institute for writers and artists to learn more about the natural history of Alaska and current preservation efforts.

Kimi Kodani Hill Add To Scrapbook

Kimi Kodani Hill

Kimi Kodani Hill

Episode(s): 5
Associated Park(s): Yosemite

Granddaughter of the artist Chiura Obata, Kimi Kodani Hill is the editor of Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata's Art of the Internment and author of Shades of California: The Hidden Beauty of Ordinary Life. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, and the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. In 1985, she began researching the lives of her grandparents and is considered the family historian, consulting on numerous exhibits of Obata's works. In 2009, she was serving on the board of trustees of the Yosemite Association.

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Send Email Postcards

Create personalized postcards using images from The National Parks series and email them to friends or family.

View with fog in valley and peaks lighted by sunset, winter; Yosemite National Park

Download Wallpapers

Download some of the glorious images from the documentary to enjoy on your desktop.

Untold Stories

Untold Stories

Discover the "hidden" stories of the national parks that explore the role of minorities in the creation and protection of the parks.

National Park Service rangers

Visit America's Best Idea

You own 391 national parks. Come for a visit and take away the experience of a lifetime. Help the National Park Service make America's Best Idea even better!

Bank of America Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr Fund Corporation for Public Broadcasting The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Park Foundation

National Park Foundation The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation The Pew Charitable TrustsGM

THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA is a co-production of

Florentine Films and WETA

 

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