The National Parks

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The National Parks: America's Best Idea is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. As such, it follows in the tradition of Burns's exploration of other American inventions, such as baseball and jazz.

Major funding is provided by General Motors, Evelyn & Walter Haas,Jr. Fund, CPB; Bank of America; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; Park Foundation, Inc; PBS; National Park Foundation; The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Providing Support for PBS.org

Providing Support for PBS.org

Episodes 2

Video thumbnail: The National Parks For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People

The National Parks

For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People

Listen to park ranger, Shelton Johnson, as he discusses his arrival at Yellowstone.

0:48

For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People

0:48

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The Park Idea

The National Parks

The Park Idea

Dayton Duncan, talks about the notion that is at the heart of the park idea.

2:23

The Park Idea

2:23

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Clips 22

Video thumbnail: The National Parks Mr. President Goes to Yellowstone

The National Parks

Mr. President Goes to Yellowstone

Explore Yellowstone National Park with President Obama and his family!

11:48

Mr. President Goes to Yellowstone

11:48

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks:  Muir and Roosevelt

The National Parks

The National Parks: Muir and Roosevelt

Pres. Teddy Roosevelt travels to Yosemite and camps with John Muir.

11:41

The National Parks: Muir and Roosevelt

11:41

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks: Breath of Bison

The National Parks

The National Parks: Breath of Bison

Ranger Shelton Johnson talks about winter in Yellowstone Park

2:00

The National Parks: Breath of Bison

2:00

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks: George Melendez Wright

The National Parks

The National Parks: George Melendez Wright

George Melendez Wright changed how the Park Service preserved wildlife.

3:50

The National Parks: George Melendez Wright

3:50

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks: Grand Tetons

The National Parks

The National Parks: Grand Tetons

Terry Tempest Williams talks about what the Grand Tetons mean to her

1:44

The National Parks: Grand Tetons

1:44

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks: Great Nature

The National Parks

The National Parks: Great Nature

Obata discusses Nature and it's impact on his art

4:50

The National Parks: Great Nature

4:50

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks: New Land

The National Parks

The National Parks: New Land

Dayton Duncan talks about seeing the lava flow in Hawaii

1:58

The National Parks: New Land

1:58

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks: Ranger Baker

The National Parks

The National Parks: Ranger Baker

Ranger Gerard Baker talks about Parks being real America

0:34

The National Parks: Ranger Baker

0:34

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Previews 10

Video thumbnail: The National Parks The National Parks: An Introduction

The National Parks

The National Parks: An Introduction

Introductory clip from THE NATIONAL PARKS: America's Best Idea, a film by Ken Burns.

7:18

The National Parks: An Introduction

7:18

Video thumbnail: The National Parks Canyon Song: National Park Experience

The National Parks

Canyon Song: National Park Experience

A Navajo family balances modern life with tradition. Credit: National Park Experience.

13:31

Canyon Song: National Park Experience

13:31

Video thumbnail: The National Parks Going Home (1920-1933) - Preview

The National Parks

Going Home (1920-1933) - Preview

THE NATIONAL PARKS: America's Best Idea rebroadcasts April 25-30 on PBS!

0:30

Going Home (1920-1933) - Preview

0:30

Video thumbnail: The National Parks Great Nature (1933-1945) - Preview

The National Parks

Great Nature (1933-1945) - Preview

THE NATIONAL PARKS: America's Best Idea rebroadcasts April 25-30 on PBS!

0:30

Great Nature (1933-1945) - Preview

0:30

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