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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is 96

The attached photo shows participants in the 1921 Dedication Ceremony of Hawaii National Park. There was a five-year lapse between the establishment of the park in 1916 and the dedication ceremony in 1921. The original caption reads: “The Dedication of the Hawaii National Park. Part of the On-lookers at the Ceremony on the Rim of the Fire-pit of the Volcano.” It was published in the August 1921 issue of Paradise of the Pacific, part of the library collection at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park turns 96 years old on Wednesday, Aug. 1, and the park’s Centennial Anniversary is just four years away. Hawaii Volcanoes was the 15th park to join the National Park Service, which now has 397 national parks – including a total of eight in Hawaii.

Established Aug. 1, 1916, the same year as the National Park Service itself was founded, Hawaii National Park, as it was called then, also comprised Haleakala National Park on Maui. In 1961, Haleakala became its own separate national park.

“There have been many positive changes and landmark events over the last 96 years at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “And this year, there are many special events to celebrate.”

On Aug. 27, the U.S. Mint will officially release the Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park quarter, as part of its America the Beautiful Quarters Program. But the first day anyone can get the quarter will be at a public ceremony and coin exchange Aug. 29, held at the park from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The evening before, Aug. 28, the park will host a coin forum as an After Dark in the Park program, for coin enthusiasts and other interested members of the public. The event starts at 7 p.m. in the Kilauea Visitor Center auditorium.

Both events are free, but park entrance fees may apply.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of UNESCO’s World Heritage Program, and the 25th anniversary of the 1987 inscription of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as a World Heritage Site.

UNESCO designated the park as a World Heritage Site for its superlative attributes of universal value important to the common heritage of humanity – in particular, the biological, cultural and geologic resources of the park.

Special commemorative events and presentations will soon be announced.

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