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Wednesday, 29 April 2009 17:00

When to celebrate

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Depending on how you slice it, the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park could be celebrated on a variety of days.

The park has deemed the official anniversary date to be June 15, 2009, exactly 75 years after the U.S. Congress passed official legislation sanctioning the park.

But nearly six weeks before then on April 28, a delegation from North Carolina traveled to Washington, D.C., and presented land deeds for the park to the federal government. In fact, the state presented its first stack of land deeds for the park three years early in 1931. Even though the acquisition wasn’t yet complete, it was enough to get the ball rolling and spurred the Department of Interior to go ahead and appoint the park’s first superintendent and a small staff of rangers to begin overseeing the land.

It wasn’t until much later, on Sept. 2, 1940, that President Franklin Roosevelt visited the park for its formal dedication ceremony

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