List of national memorials of the United States

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial on a commemorative 1952 stamp
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National memorial is a designation in the United States for an officially recognized area that memorializes a historic person or event.[1] The National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior, owns and administers 30 memorials as official units and provides assistance for five more, known as affiliated areas, that are operated by other organizations. One additional memorial has been authorized but not yet established, to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The memorial need not be located on a site directly related to the subject[1] and many, such as the Lincoln Memorial, do not have the word "national" in their titles.

The earliest and perhaps most recognizable is the uniquely designated Washington Monument, which was completed in 1884 and transferred to the NPS in 1933. The most recent is the World War I Memorial, designated in 2014. National memorials are in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C., has the most, 11, followed by Pennsylvania and New York, each with three. The affiliated areas are in a further three states and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Nine national memorials commemorate U.S. presidents, six commemorate other historic figures, and five commemorate wars. As with all historic areas within the National Park System, national memorials are automatically listed on the National Register of Historic Places; however, some memorials that are affiliated areas are not listed on the Register.

Occasionally, a private organization will erect a memorial and use the word "national" in the name without Congressional authorization. One example is the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

National memorials[edit]

Name Photo Location Date established[2] Area [3] Description
Arkansas Post Arkansas Post National Memorial 005.jpg Arkansas
34°01′N 91°21′W / 34.02°N 91.35°W / 34.02; -91.35 (Arkansas Post)
July 6, 1960 757.51 acres (3.0655 km2) Henri de Tonti established the Arkansas Post in 1686 as the first European trading post in the Mississippi River Valley as part of French Louisiana. It grew into a small settlement and was the site of skirmishes with Native Americans before becoming part of New Spain in 1763 and the US in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. A Civil War battle was won by the Union there in 1863. Today there is a reconstructed fort and archaeological remains of Native American, European, and American settlements.[4]
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial Arlington House National Park Service.jpg Virginia
38°52′52″N 77°04′23″W / 38.881°N 77.073°W / 38.881; -77.073 (Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial)
June 25, 1955 28.08 acres (0.1136 km2) This mansion was built by George Washington's adopted son George Washington Parke Custis, partially as a memorial to Washington. After Custis's death it was managed by his son-in-law Robert E. Lee, who became commander of the Confederate States Army. The US government seized it during the Civil War and established Arlington National Cemetery around it. The house and grounds have been restored with pre-war decor and artifacts of the Custis and Lee families.[5]
Chamizal Texas
31°46′N 106°27′W / 31.77°N 106.45°W / 31.77; -106.45 (Chamizal)
February 4, 1974 54.90 acres (0.2222 km2) Northward shifts in the Rio Grande led to a dispute over the Mexico–United States border between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez. Summits and tribunals beginning in 1909 failed to resolve the controversy until a 1964 settlement transferred land on both sides of a rechanneled river. The museum and park next to the Bridge of the Americas checkpoint commemorate the resolution and international diplomacy.[6]
Coronado Montezuma Pass Overlook, elevation 2100 meters - panoramio.jpg Arizona
31°20′N 110°15′W / 31.34°N 110.25°W / 31.34; -110.25 (Coronado)
November 5, 1952 4,830.22 acres (19.5472 km2) Francisco Vázquez de Coronado led the first European exploration of the Southwest, from Arizona to Kansas, finding the Grand Canyon. The site on the Mexican border includes a cave and hiking trails through ridges and canyons.[7]
De Soto Florida
27°31′N 82°38′W / 27.52°N 82.64°W / 27.52; -82.64 (De Soto)
March 11, 1948 30 acres (0.12 km2) Hernando de Soto led the first European exploration of the Southeast, searching for gold while trading and fighting with various Native American tribes before his death along the Mississippi River in 1542. The memorial at the landing site on Tampa Bay has a reconstructed camp, reenactment events, historic artifacts, and waterfront trails.[8]
Federal Hall New York
40°42′25″N 74°00′36″W / 40.707°N 74.010°W / 40.707; -74.010 (Federal Hall)
August 11, 1955 0.45 acres (0.0018 km2) This neoclassical building on Wall Street, originally the Port of New York Custom House, stands at the site of the first US Capitol building. The original Federal style building was the site of George Washington's inauguration, the 1st United States Congress, and previously the Congress of the Confederation. [9]
Flight 93 Pennsylvania - Flight 93 National Memorial - 20151007144902.jpg Pennsylvania
40°03′18″N 78°54′04″W / 40.055°N 78.901°W / 40.055; -78.901 (Flight 93)
September 10, 2011 2,319.96 acres (9.3885 km2) The fourth airplane hijacked in the September 11, 2001, attacks, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Southwest Pennsylvania after the passengers fought back against the terrorists. The memorial on the site has a white granite wall engraved with the named of the 40 victims, a 93 ft (28 m)-tall Tower of Voices with 40 wind chimes, and a visitor center.[10]
Fort Caroline Florida
30°23′10″N 81°29′53″W / 30.386°N 81.498°W / 30.386; -81.498 (Fort Caroline)
January 13, 1953 138.39 acres (0.5600 km2) Around 200 French Huguenots founded Fort Caroline (named after King Charles IX) as a refuge in French Florida in 1685. Only a year later the Spanish founded St. Augustine nearby and attacked and massacred the settlers at Fort Caroline to take unified control of the region. The current site within the Timucuan Preserve has a reconstructed fort with hiking trails, a visitor center, and monument to the executed leader Jean Ribault.[11]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial District of Columbia
38°52′59″N 77°02′35″W / 38.883°N 77.043°W / 38.883; -77.043 (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
May 2, 1997 8.14 acres (0.0329 km2) Franklin D. Roosevelt was the United States' longest-serving president, leading the country during a period of enormous national challenges. Four sections of waterfalls and pools represent Roosevelt's terms in office, when he instituted the New Deal to modernize the economy during the Great Depression and unified the country during World War II. Bronze statues of Roosevelt, his wife Eleanor, his dog Fala, and scenes of period Americans stand between stone walls engraved with notable quotations.[12]
General Grant New York
40°48′47″N 73°57′47″W / 40.813°N 73.963°W / 40.813; -73.963 (General Grant)
May 1, 1959 .76 acres (0.0031 km2) Ulysses S. Grant was general of the Union Army and led several victories in Civil War battles before forcing surrender of Lee's Confederacy. He served two terms as president of the United States, overseeing Reconstruction and civil rights, government reform, and relations with Native Americans. Grant's Tomb is his and his wife's resting place, designed after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.[13]
Hamilton Grange New York
40°49′16″N 73°56′49″W / 40.821°N 73.947°W / 40.821; -73.947 (Hamilton Grange)
November 19, 1988 1.04 acres (0.0042 km2) Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father who promoted adoption of theConstitution and served as the first Secretary of the Treasury to establish the nation's economic and political system. He lived in this mansion in Harlem for the last two years of his life before being killed in a duel, and his widow lived there for 29 more years. It has been relocated in the vicinity twice for preservation and restoration and now hosts tours.[14]
Johnstown Flood Pennsylvania
40°21′00″N 78°46′16″W / 40.350°N 78.771°W / 40.350; -78.771 (Johnstown Flood)
August 31, 1964 177.76 acres (0.7194 km2) When the South Fork Dam catastrophically failed in 1889, the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania was flooded and more than 2,200 people died, making the flood now the third-deadliest event in the US. The memorial at the site of the dam remains features a visitor center, short hiking trails, and a historic clubhouse.[15]
Korean War Veterans Memorial District of Columbia
38°53′17″N 77°02′53″W / 38.888°N 77.048°W / 38.888; -77.048 (Korean War Veterans)
July 27, 1995 1.56 acres (0.0063 km2) The US led UN forces in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 as part of the Cold War in support of South Korea against North Korea. Of the over 300,000 US servicemembers, more than 36,000 died in the war that ended in a stalemate. The memorial includes a black granite wall etched with images of soldiers, 19 statues of a platoon on patrol, and the Pool of Remembrance that reflects the surrounding linden trees.[16]
Lincoln Boyhood Log Cabin at the Lincoln Living Historical Farm.jpg Indiana
38°06′47″N 86°59′46″W / 38.113°N 86.996°W / 38.113; -86.996 (Lincoln Boyhood)
February 19, 1962 199.65 acres (0.8080 km2) Abraham Lincoln moved with his family from Kentucky to forested Southern Indiana in 1816 and lived there from age 7 to 21. He worked on his family's farm and taught himself with little formal schooling during these formative years. His mother died and is buried here. A living museum reenacts a period farm at a reconstructed homestead near the original home's foundation and a sculpted limestone memorial building.[17]
Lincoln Memorial District of Columbia
38°53′20″N 77°03′00″W / 38.889°N 77.050°W / 38.889; -77.050 (Lincoln Memorial)
May 30, 1922 7.29 acres (0.0295 km2) Abraham Lincoln led the Union during the Civil War, bringing back together a divided nation and abolishing slavery before being assassinated shortly after the end of the war. A 30 ft (9.1 m)-tall statue of a seated Lincoln sits in this grand temple overlooking the National Mall toward the Capitol. Inside walls are inscribed with the text of his second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address. 36 Doric columns that represent the states of the Union in 1865 support a pediment with the names of the 48 states at the time of construction in 1922.[18]
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac District of Columbia
38°52′37″N 77°03′00″W / 38.877°N 77.050°W / 38.877; -77.050 (Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac)
September 27, 1974 17 acres (0.069 km2) Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency saw passage of Great Society legislation that expanded health care access through Medicare and Medicaid, established civil and voting rights prohibiting racial discrimination, addressed poverty and rural development, and promoted conservation and environmental protection. The grove of pine and dogwood trees surrounded by flowers sits on an island in the Potomac with trails, meadows, and a commemorative granite monolith.[19]
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial District of Columbia
33°53′10″N 77°02′38″W / 33.886°N 77.044°W / 33.886; -77.044 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial)
August 22, 2011 2.74 acres (0.0111 km2) Martin Luther King Jr. was the most significant leader of the Civil rights movement, organizing boycotts against segregated buses, solidarity marches for civil rights, and the March on Washington against inequality. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent resistance but was assassinated in 1968. Notable quotations, including from his "I Have a Dream" speech and sermons, are etched on granite walls and a 30 ft (9.1 m) sculpture of King.[20]
Mount Rushmore South Dakota
43°52′44″N 103°27′32″W / 43.879°N 103.459°W / 43.879; -103.459 (Mount Rushmore)
July 1, 1939 1,278.45 acres (5.1737 km2) Gutzon Borglum led the sculpting of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln into a mountain in the Black Hills. Limited funding resulted in carving only 60 ft (18 m) heads without their torsos. Mountain goats, mule deer, and yellow-bellied marmots are among the wildlife living in the hills near the visitor center and walking path.[21]
Pearl Harbor Hawaii
21°22′N 157°57′W / 21.36°N 157.95°W / 21.36; -157.95 (Pearl Harbor)
March 12, 2019 [22][23]
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial Ohio
41°39′14″N 82°48′40″W / 41.654°N 82.811°W / 41.654; -82.811 (Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial)
October 26, 1972 25.38 acres (0.1027 km2) Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's naval fleet defeated the British at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, securing control of the lake and later peace with Britain and Canada. The world's largest Doric column, with an observation deck on top, stands 352 ft (107 m) tall on South Bass Island to commemorate the battle and international cooperation.[24]
Port Chicago Naval Magazine California
38°03′22″N 122°01′48″W / 38.056°N 122.030°W / 38.056; -122.030 (Port Chicago Naval Magazine)
October 28, 2009 5.00 acres (0.0202 km2) In 1944, 430 tons of munition exploded while being loaded onto ships at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine, creating a three-mile-wide fireball that killed 320 people and seriously injured 390 more in the Port Chicago disaster. The majority of victims were Black, and a subsequent mutiny protesting unsafe conditions and segregation led to a court-martial and eventually integration of the armed forces.[25]
Roger Williams Rhode Island
41°49′52″N 71°24′40″W / 41.831°N 71.411°W / 41.831; -71.411 (Roger Williams)
October 22, 1965 4.56 acres (0.0185 km2) Roger Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island on the basis of religious freedom, having been exileed from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for separating from the Church of England. The memorial is a landscaped park in downtown Providence, with a visitor center in a historic home.[26]
Thaddeus Kosciuszko Thaddeus Koscuiszko National Memorial 301 Pine Street.jpg Pennsylvania
39°56′35″N 75°08′49″W / 39.943°N 75.147°W / 39.943; -75.147 (Thaddeus Kosciuszko)
October 21, 1972 .02 acres (8.1×10−5 km2) Polish engineer Tadeusz Kościuszko joined the Continental Army when the American Revolution broke out, overseeing various fort construction projects and later leading troops on the battlefield. After returning to Poland and leading a failed uprising against Russian occupation, he briefly lived at this house in Philadelphia before returning to Europe again. This is the smallest unit of the National Park System.[27]
Theodore Roosevelt Island District of Columbia
38°53′49″N 77°03′50″W / 38.897°N 77.064°W / 38.897; -77.064 (Theodore Roosevelt Island)
October 27, 1967 88.5 acres (0.358 km2) [28]
Thomas Jefferson Memorial District of Columbia
38°52′52″N 77°02′13″W / 38.881°N 77.037°W / 38.881; -77.037 (Thomas Jefferson Memorial)
April 13, 1943 18.36 acres (0.0743 km2) [29]
Vietnam Veterans Memorial District of Columbia
38°53′28″N 77°02′53″W / 38.891°N 77.048°W / 38.891; -77.048 (Vietnam Veterans Memorial)
November 13, 1982 2.18 acres (0.0088 km2) [30]
Washington Monument District of Columbia
38°53′20″N 77°02′06″W / 38.889°N 77.035°W / 38.889; -77.035 (Washington Monument)
February 21, 1885 106.01 acres (0.4290 km2) [31]
World War I Memorial District of Columbia
38°53′46″N 77°01′59″W / 38.896°N 77.033°W / 38.896; -77.033 (World War I Memorial)
December 19, 2014 1.76 acres (0.0071 km2) [32][33]
World War II Memorial District of Columbia
38°53′20″N 77°02′24″W / 38.889°N 77.040°W / 38.889; -77.040 (World War II Memorial)
May 29, 2004 8.25 acres (0.0334 km2) [34]
Wright Brothers North Carolina
36°00′50″N 75°40′05″W / 36.014°N 75.668°W / 36.014; -75.668 (Wright Brothers)
March 2, 1927 428.44 acres (1.7338 km2) [35]

Affiliated areas[edit]

Name Photo Location Date established[2] Area[2] Description
American Memorial Park Northern Mariana Islands
15°12′58″N 145°43′19″E / 15.216°N 145.722°E / 15.216; 145.722 (American Memorial Park)
August 18, 1978 133 acres (0.5 km2) [36]
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania
39°57′29″N 75°10′23″W / 39.958°N 75.173°W / 39.958; -75.173 (Benjamin Franklin National Memorial)
October 25, 1972 0.154 acres (0.0 km2) [37]
Father Marquette Michigan
45°51′11″N 84°43′34″W / 45.853°N 84.726°W / 45.853; -84.726 (Father Marquette)
December 20, 1975 52 acres (0.2 km2) [38]
Oklahoma City Oklahoma
35°28′23″N 97°31′01″W / 35.473°N 97.517°W / 35.473; -97.517 (Oklahoma City)
April 19, 2000 6.24 acres (0.0 km2) [39]
Red Hill Patrick Henry Virginia
37°01′55″N 78°53′53″W / 37.032°N 78.898°W / 37.032; -78.898 (Red Hill Patrick Henry)
May 12, 1986 117 acres (0.5 km2) [40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Designation of National Park System Units, National Park Service, last updated March 28, 2000
  2. ^ a b c The National Parks: Index 2012–2016 (PDF). Washington, D.C.: National Park Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  3. ^ "National Reports". National Park Service. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Arkansas Post National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Chamizal National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Coronado National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  8. ^ "De Soto National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  9. ^ "Federal Hall National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Flight 93 National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  11. ^ "Fort Caroline National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  13. ^ "General Grant National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  14. ^ "Hamilton Grange National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  15. ^ "Johnstown Flood National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  16. ^ "Korean War Veterans Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  17. ^ "Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  18. ^ "Lincoln Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  19. ^ "Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  20. ^ "Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  21. ^ "Mount Rushmore National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  22. ^ "World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument". National Park Service. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Text - S.47 - John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act". United States Congress. March 12, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  24. ^ "Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  25. ^ "Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  26. ^ "Roger Williams National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  27. ^ "Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  28. ^ "Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  29. ^ "Thomas Jefferson Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  30. ^ "Vietnam Veterans Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  31. ^ "Washington Monument". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  32. ^ "Defense Authorization Act Expands National Park System". National Park Service. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  33. ^ "National World War I Memorial - National Mall and Memorial Parks (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  34. ^ "World War II Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  35. ^ "Wright Brothers National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  36. ^ "American Memorial Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  37. ^ "Benjamin Franklin National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  38. ^ "Father Marquette National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  39. ^ "Oklahoma City National Memorial". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  40. ^ "Red Hill Patrick Henry National Memorial". National Park Service. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)