1956 3¢ Devils Tower
Issue Date: September 24, 1956
City: Devils Tower, Wyoming
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 10 ½ x 11
U.S. #1084 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Antiquities Act of 1906, a federal law that provided for America’s natural wonders. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt designated Devils Tower National Monument as the first such protected area. Devils Tower has an altitude of 5,112 feet above sea level, and rises over 1,200 feet over the surrounding area. Numerous Native American tribes consider it a sacred landmark.
Theodore Roosevelt – The Conservation President
Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman. After the death of his first wife in 1884, Roosevelt moved to the North Dakota Badlands where he set up a ranch. His appreciation for the nation’s natural splendors carried over to his time in office. As President, Roosevelt established five national parks – Crater Lake in Oregon, Wind Cave in South Dakota, Sullys Hill in North Dakota, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and Platt in Oklahoma.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 gave Roosevelt another means to preserve America’s wonders. Originally set up to protect prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts on federal lands, it also authorized Presidents to proclaim “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” as “national monuments.”
Roosevelt used a reference in the Act to “objects of scientific interest.” He named Devils Tower as the first national monument three months after the Act was passed. Soon, he added the Petrified Forest in Arizona, El Morro in New Mexico, and Montezuma Castle in Arizona.