That’s how many glorious years “America’s Best Idea” has been around, and today marks that special milestone with celebrations all over the USA!
I think this is the most excited I’ve ever been for a birthday, even my own.
The National Park Service kicked off the celebration on Monday at the Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City with an “interactive circuit” stage. You were invited to stand on the special floor with the goal of connecting a series of colored squares to a lightbulb. When you completed the “circuit”, the spire of the Freedom Tower on the Manhattan skyline would change color. Bill Nye the Science Guy and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell were there along with other NPS friends, and this enthusiast couldn’t wait for Thursday.
Today, the actual creation date, I celebrated at the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey. I found my most festive party dress (because you only turn 100 once), and was glad to celebrate someplace close to home. Junior Park Rangers swore an oath to protect our parks, Happy Birthday was sung, and cupcakes were out in full force for the lively birthday guests. I then checked out Edison’s lab, one of the largest and best preserved science laboratories, and was really into the size of the place!
From the outside there was no way I could have imagined what would be inside, and what’s preserved and open to the public is a small sample of what used to dominate two city blocks. Edison wasn’t just the inventor that gave us ways of recording images and sound, he was a seriously savvy industrialist. His lab changed the way I thought of his legacy, and also of the way I thought of technology during this time period.
There was A LOT of careful detail and thought put into the curation of the place, and I can’t count how many times I have driven past it and not visited. I’ve got to remember that there’s tons of history gems within my state, and I’m glad I realized it on the birthday of the National Park Service! What better day to mark it!
#FindYourPark may have been the catalyst for my August adventures, but I think I’ve ignited something that isn’t stopping anytime soon. Happy Birthday National Park Service, and I know we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other!