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National Park Quiz 92: Seconds

The world's second-largest natural bridge. Do you know what U.S. national park it's in? Bob Janiskee photo.

You can't take this quiz in just a few seconds, but if you invest a few minutes you'll find out whether you know as much about seconds as you do about firsts.

1. The accompanying photo shows what is purportedly "the world's second-largest natural bridge." In which U.S. national park is this natural bridge located?

2. Yellowstone became the first national park when it was created by Congress in 1872. Name the second national park that Congress created. Give yourself an extra point if you can name the year too.

3. Stephen Mather became the first director of the National Park Service when he was appointed in 1917. Who was the second director of the National Park Service? Give yourself an extra point if you can specify the year he took office.

4. Name the second National Seashore created on the Atlantic Coast. Give yourself an extra point if you know the year it was created.

5. There are 58 National Park-designated units in the National Park System. In 2010, Great Smoky Mountains National Park had nearly 9.5 million visits, which is the highest visitation in this "elite" category. Which of the 57 other National Park-designated units was the second-most heavily visited in 2010?

6. The largest of the 58 National Park-designated units of the National Park System is Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Which is the second-largest of these "elite" National Park-designated units?

7. In what unit of the National Park System did doctors once conduct “six-second physicals”?

8. Name the national park in which America's second-highest mountain can be found. Hint: The mountain bears the same name as Canada’s second-highest mountain, which is also in a national park.

9. An Interior Department ruling specifies that visitors may exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms by carrying state-licensed firearms with them during national park visits. Which President signed into law the legislation that opened the way to this ruling? Give yourself an extra point if you can state the month and year when the new regulation went into effect in the national parks.

10. The Second Treaty of Paris is one of the most important agreements that America has ever made with a foreign country. With which unit of the National Park System is the signing of this treaty most closely associated?

Extra Credit Question:

11. Name the two "ready in 60 seconds or less" units of the National Park System.

Super Bonus Question:

12. Which unit of the National Park System contains America's second-largest equestrian statue?


(1) Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument contains three large natural bridges -- Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo. According to the National Park Service, Sipapu is the world's second-largest natural bridge and Kachina is the third-largest. Competing claims rest on different interpretations of the key adjective (largest, longest, or biggest) and the distinction between natural bridges (which span existing or ancient rivers) and arches.

(2) Michigan's Mackinac National Park was the second national park that Congress created. Established in 1875, just three years after Yellowstone, the park was abolished in 1895 and turned over to the state of Michigan for management as a state park. Admittedly, this is not a tidy answer. Some people put  into the mix, insisting that it was the first national park ever created. Others argue that Yosemite should be considered the world's first national park, even though it was first set aside (in 1864) as a state park and was not designated a national park until 1890.

(3) Horace Albright was the second director of the National Park Service. Although Albright served as de facto director during Mather's disabling bouts of depression, his formal term of office extended only from January 12, 1929 to August 9, 1933.

(4) On September 21, 1965, Congress created Assateague Island National Seashore (MD/VA) as the second national seashore on the Atlantic Coast. The first national seashore created on the Atlantic Coast -- or anywhere in America, for that matter -- was Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which was authorized in 1937 and established in 1953.

(5) Grand Canyon National Park had 4.4 million visits in 2010, making it the second-most heavily visited National Park-designated unit of the National Park System last year.

(6) Alaska's 7,523,898-acre Gates of the Arctic National Park is the second-largest National Park-designated unit of the National Park System. (The contiguous 948,608-acre Gates of the Arctic National Preserve is counted as a separate unit of the National Park System.)

(7) Doctors processing immigrants at Ellis Island, now a National Monument administered by Statue of Liberty National Monument, were adept at conducting "six-second physicals." It was said that a doctor could identify numerous medical conditions at a glance. About 20% of the 12 million immigrants processed at Ellis Island were treated for curable illnesses. People diagnosed with dangerous contagious diseases were denied entry into the U.S.

(8) The Alaska/Yukon border runs through the peak of Mount St. Elias, which is partly located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. At 18,008 feet, Mount St. Elias qualifies as both the second-highest mountain in the U.S. (after Mt. McKinley) and the second-highest mountain in Canada (after Mount Logan). The Canadian side of Mount St. Elias is in Kluane National Park.

(9) The legislation that cleared the way for people to carry state-licensed firearms with them while visiting national parks was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. The new regulation went into effect in the national parks on February 22, 2010.

(10) Following Lord Cornwallis’ defeat at the Battle of Yorktown, the United States and Great Britain agreed to the Treaty of Paris of 1783 -- also known as the Second Treaty of Paris -- which ended the Revolutionary War and established that henceforth there would not be 13 British colonies in North America, just 13 free states. The Yorktown Battlefield where Cornwallis surrendered is an administrative component of Colonial National Historical Park.

(11) The two "ready in 60 seconds or less" National Park System units are Minute Man National Historical Park and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.

(12) The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial on Union Square at the east end of the National Mall has a huge bronze statue of General Grant seated on a horse. Standing 17 feet high, and perched on a 22.5-foot pedestal, this statue is the second largest equestrian statue in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. (The only two bigger ones are the statue of Mexican conquistador Don Juan de Onate in El Paso, Texas and the monument to Italy's King Victor Emanuel in Rome.) Quite understandably, nearly everyone considers the Grant Memorial to be on the National Mall. However, the National Park Service administers the Memorial as a component of the National Capital Parks unit. The unit that the National Park System officially administers as the National Mall unit extends only from 14th Street to 3rd Street between Madison and Jefferson Drives. BTW, there is no statutory description of the National Mall. For various purposes, the National Park Service currently defines "the Mall" and the "National Mall" in at least four different ways

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passable fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.


You just destroyed my entire day! At least I managed "passable fair."

Lee, I know you're just saying that to make the ol' quizmeister feel good, but thanks anyway.

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