A core essence in Yellowstone’s development came in the summer of 1871, when geologist Ferdinand Hayden led the first federally funded expedition to the region. Along with botanists and zoologists, Hayden’s team also included a photographer and a young artist named Thomas Moran, who produced more than thirty sketches and watercolors of Yellowstone’s cliffs, geysers and rivers! Combined with the photographs, Moran’s designed artworks proffered Americans their earliest glimpse of the area’s natural beauty!
When the paintings were later exhibited in Congress, they helped win many politicians over to the idea of making Yellowstone a “national playground.” On February 27, 1872, the House of Representatives voted 115 to 65 in favor setting the district aside as America’s first national park. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill into law just two days later! 🎨👨🎨🖼🌊