Sequoia National Park To Host Fee Free Day June 18th in Honor of Buffalo Soldiers
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK CA , June 2016- Come celebrate the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American soldiers who were early caretakers of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and several other national parks. Learn about what they did to help create the parks you love today! As part of the event, park entrance fees have been waived for the day.
In 1866, Congress established six all-Black regiments, each of about 1000 soldiers, to help rebuild the country after the Civil War and to patrol the remote western frontier. These regiments were the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry. The four infantry regiments reorganized to form the 24th and 25th Infantry in 1869. Although the pay was low for the time, only $13 a month, many African Americans enlisted because they could make more in the military than elsewhere, and it offered more dignity than typically could be attained in civilian life.
The first national parks were patrolled by Army cavalry troops before there was a National Park Service. In May 1903, Captain Charles Young led 9th Cavalry troops from the Presidio to Yosemite, Sequoia, and General Grant (Kings Can-yon) national parks. These were the first Black units to patrol the parks for an entire season, and the first time a Black officer served as acting superintendent of a national park. Under Young’s command, troops at Sequoia accomplished more work than in the last three years combined, extending roads into the Great Forest to open the area to visitors for the first time.
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Park PDF of Buffalo soldiers sb-buffalo-2008