Today in History: Yosemite

Yosemite Valley as seen from Discovery View

Today in History–June 30–the Library of Congress features Yosemite. On this day in 1865 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Valley Grant Act, giving the valley and nearby Mariposa Big Tree Grove to California “upon the express conditions that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation.” The area became a top tourist destination but towards the end of the century, there was support to return Yosemite to the federal government. In 1890, Yosemite National Park was established. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more primary resources about this spectacular natural treasure.

Yosemite images

Yosemite sheet music

An Act authorizing a Grant to the State of California of the Yo-Semite Valley,’ and of the Land embracing the Mariposa Big Tree Grove.’

An act to set apart certain tracts of land in the State of California as forest reservations

More historical legislation related to Yosemite

Historical newspaper articles about George (Melendez) Wright

Modern-day legislation related to Yosemite

Yosemite books & other texts

Topics in Chronicling America – Yosemite National Park: Path to Conservation

More historical newspaper coverage of Yosemite

Yosemite periodical articles

Yosemite Valley Grant Act from America’s Library