On October 1, 1890, Yosemite National Park, California, was established by the United States Congress. The park covers nearly 323,750 hectares (800,000 acres) and plays host to nearly four million visitors a year. Yosemite is internationally famous for its beautiful mountains (including El Capitan and Half Dome), high waterfalls, pristine lakes, and beautiful meadows.

Interest in the Yosemite Valley began with the California Gold Rush of the early 1850s. The first tourism campaign was launched in 1855, and included brochures advertising the area’s rugged beauty with illustrations and stories. Business and government leaders quickly called for the removal of the native Ahwahnechee people, who had lived in the valley for thousands of years. By the time Yosemite became a national park, no Ahwahnechee lived in the area.

California Gold Rush
Noun

(1848-1855) worldwide immigration to California following the discovery of gold.

Congress
Noun

legislative branch of the government, responsible for making laws. The U.S. Congress has two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

establish
Verb

to form or officially organize.

government
Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

national park
Noun

geographic area protected by the national government of a country.

pristine
Adjective

pure or unpolluted.

tourism
Noun

the industry (including food, hotels, and entertainment) of traveling for pleasure.

Noun

flow of water descending steeply over a cliff. Also called a cascade.

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