|People Overview||Historical Figures||National Park Service||People Behind
|Park Visitors||Artists and Writers||Contemporary Commentators|
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Ruth Kirk is the author and photographer of many acclaimed natural and human history books about the Northwest, including Sunrise to Paradise: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park, which commemorates the park's centennial. She also wrote Snow, a book that is part natural history and part social history, inspired by her five years living in Mount Rainier National Park in the 1950s. She has climbed to the summit five times and has also circumvented the peak along the 93-mile-long Wonderland Trail. With her husband, a Park Service employee, she has lived in numerous national parks, including Olympic, Death Valley, Theodore Roosevelt and Wind Cave.
Iwao and his wife Hanaye were Japanese immigrants who came to the United States in 1919, settling in Seattle. They fell in love with Mount Rainier, which reminded them of Mount Fuji, their "holy mountain" in Japan. They made over 100 trips to Mount Rainier National Park, taking photographs with the Seattle Camera Club, shooting home movies and keeping journals.
During World War II, Iwao was separated from Hanaye during their internment, but the two exchanged letters, many about the mountain and their memories of it. After being released, the couple returned to Seattle to be close to their beloved Mount Rainier. Iwao's journals and photographs were later donated to the University of Washington library.
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Bradford and Barbara Washburn, South Peak of Mount McKinley, Mt. McKinley (later Denali) National Park, 1947, Bradford Washburn photograph
Brad Washburn was a prominent geologist, geographer, photographer and mountaineer. From the 1920s to the 1950s, he was a leading American mountaineer who made many first ascents in the Alaskan mountains. As a photographer, he pioneered the use of aerial photography to analyze mountains in preparation for land-based expeditions. He is responsible for some of the most detailed maps of mountain ranges, including Mount McKinley and Mount Everest, as well as maps of the Grand Canyon. As founder and longtime director of the Boston Museum of Science, he is credited with building it into a world-class museum.
Barbara Washburn, Brad's widow, is best known as the first woman to climb Mount McKinley, in 1947. She accompanied her husband on many other expeditions.
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Discover the "hidden" stories of the national parks that explore the role of minorities in the creation and protection of the parks.