The known history of the Grand Canyon area
stretches back 10,500 years, when the first evidence of human
presence in the area is found. Native Americans
have inhabited the Grand Canyon
and the area now covered by Grand Canyon National Park
for at least the last 4,000 of those years. Anasazi
, first as the Basketmaker culture and later as the more familiar Puebloans, developed from the Desert Culture as they became less nomadic
and more dependent on agriculture
. A similar culture, the Cohonina
, also lived in the canyon area. Drought
in the late 13th century likely caused both groups to move on
. Other peoples followed, including the Paiute
, Cerbat, and the Navajo
, only to be later forced onto reservations
by the United States Government
Early residents soon realized that tourism was destined to be more profitable than mining, and by the turn of the 20th century the Grand Canyon was a well-known tourist destination. Most visitors made the grueling trip from nearby towns to the South Rim by stagecoach. Although first afforded federal protection in 1893 as a forest reserve and later as a U.S. National Monument, the Grand Canyon did not achieve U.S. National Park status until 1919, three years after the creation of the National Park Service. Today, Grand Canyon National Park receives about five million visitors each year, a far cry from the annual visitation of 44,173 in 1919.
Thelma Catherine Ryan "Pat" Nixon
(March 16, 1912 - June 22, 1993) was the wife of former President Richard Nixon
and the First Lady of the United States
from 1969 to 1974. She was commonly known as Pat Nixon
As First Lady, Pat Nixon promoted a number of charitable causes including volunteerism and oversaw the collection of more than 600 examples of historic art and furnishings for the White House, an acquisition larger than that of any other administration. She also encouraged women to run for political offices and became the most traveled First Lady in U.S. history up to that time, visiting about eighty nations; she was the first First Lady to visit a combat zone. Pat's tenure ended when, after being re-elected in the landslide victory of 1972, President Nixon resigned two years later amidst the Watergate scandal.
Pat's public appearances became rarer in her later life. She suffered two strokes within ten years of returning to California and was later diagnosed with lung cancer. She died in 1993.