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Photos: The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Images from Ken Burns's latest documentary
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 24, 2009

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As revealed in The National Parks: America's Best Idea, a six-part, 12-hour film by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, Theodore Roosevelt did more for the national park idea than any other president in history. During a cross-country trip in 1903, he spent three nights camping alone in Yosemite with the other great champion of the parks, mountain prophet John Muir, who enlisted Roosevelt into making Yosemite Valley part of a larger national park. Pictured: Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir, Yosemite National Park, 1903.

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

READ: Holy landscapes! Ken Burns worships America’s spiritual resource. By Clif Garboden.
LISTEN:Clif Garboden's interview with Ken Burns.

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  • Interview: Ken Burns
    After watching The National Parks: America's Best Idea , it would be easy to conclude that it all could have been said a lot faster. Ken Burns disagrees — but he's not just being defensive.
  • Holy landscape!
    At its core, Ken Burns's PBS 12-hour epic The National Parks: America's Best Idea (nightly on WGBH Channel 2 at 8 pm, from September 27 through October 2) is a selective, initiative by initiative, advocate by advocate, chronicle of the evolution of the National Parks system and the changing roles protected lands have played in American culture since Congress validated Yosemite in 1864.
  • 20 reasons the Earth will be glad to see Bush go
    The planet Earth usually tries to stay out of politics. It doesn't endorse candidates. It doesn't run attack ads. It doesn't even register as a lobbyist.
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  Topics: Television , Cultural Institutions and Parks , The Library of Congress , Theodore Roosevelt ,  More more >
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