National Mall and Memorial Parks - History and Facts | History Hit

National Mall and Memorial Parks

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

National Mall and Memorial Parks house many of the most iconic historical sites in the United States of America.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About National Mall and Memorial Parks

National Mall and Memorial Parks are run by the National Parks Service and are home to many of the US’s most famous historical landmarks including over eighty historic structures.

Numbered among these are the D.C. War Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, the George Mason Memorial and over sixty statues.

National Mall and Memorial Parks are also responsible for Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the Capitol, Constitution Gardens and East and West Potomac Parks.

National Mall and Memorial Parks history

Federally owned and administered parks in the capital area date back to 1790. The open spaces and parklands envisioned by Pierre L’Enfant’s plan, which was commissioned by President George Washington, created a stage for national expressions of remembrance, observance, celebration, and expression of First Amendment rights.

The National Mall and Memorial Parks as they are today were designated by Congress in 1965 and include a range of iconic sites commemorating presidents, honouring the sacrifice of war veterans, and celebrating the country’s values.

Often referred to as “America’s front yard,” the National Mall spans the area between the Potomac River and the Capitol. Beyond the Mall and memorial grounds, the Memorial Parks includes 156 small green spaces and many circles, squares, and fountains throughout Washington, DC. Ford’s Theatre, East and West Potomac Parks, Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site, and the new Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument are also managed as part of this National Parks Service unit.

National Mall and Memorial Parks (NAMA) is responsible for more than 1,000 acres of parkland containing many of the United States’ more significant natural and cultural resources.

National Mall and Memorial Parks today

This area is a popular tourist attraction and brimming with information relating to America’s history. Thousands of school children, families, foreign visitors, veterans, and recreational users come to the park daily. Visitors take advantage of interpretive programming presented by Park Rangers, park exhibits, publications, orientation services, and panoramic views from the Washington Monument and the Old Post Office Tower.

Getting to National Mall and Memorial Parks

Public transportation is the best option for reaching National Mall and Memorial Park sites easily and conveniently. There are many different ways to travel such as the Metro, or bicycle via Capital Bikeshare. The D.C. Circulator National Mall Route also provides easy access around the National Mall and convenient connections to other Circulator buses for visits to uptown sites.

There are 3 major airports near to Washington, D.C. These are Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.