In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir spent three days camping together in Yosemite. The Ken Burns film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, depicts Theodore Roosevelt’s first visit to the grandest canyon of them all. Upon seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, President Roosevelt was overwhelmed by its spectacular beauty. He asked the people of Arizona to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve it. Historian Clay Jenkinson explains why he believes the president’s statement is the finest thing that has ever been said about the national parks.
For more information on the film, visit www.pbs.org/nationalparks.