The First National Monument: Devils Tower
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: President Theodore Roosevelt

The first declared national monument in the United States, Devils Tower is located in the Black Hills of Wyoming. Many will remember its prominence in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Devls Tower as a national monument. This is Roosevelt’s proclamation. Students will read the text and respond to questions on the details and the central idea.

Topic(s): Political Writings. Skill(s): Summary, Main / Central Idea. Genre(s): Speech

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Devils Tower in Wyoming was named the first United States National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt. His proclamation establishing the monument is below.




Whereas, It is provided by section two of the Act of Congress approved June 8, 1906. entitled, “An Act for the preservation of American Antiquities,” “That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic land marks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be National Monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the object to be protected; ”

And, whereas, the lofty and isolated rock in the State of Wyoming, known as the “Devils Tower,” situated upon the public lands owned and controlled by the United States is such an extraordinary example of the effect of erosion in the higher mountains to be a natural wonder and an object of historic and great scientific interest and it appears that the public good would be promoted by reserving this tower as a National monument with as much land as may be necessary for the proper protection thereof:

Now, therefore, I, THEODORE ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America. by virtue of the power in me vested by section two of the aforesaid Act of Congress, do hereby set aside as the Devils Tower National Monument, the lofty and isolated rock situated in Crook County, Wyoming, more particularly located and described as follows, towit:

Section seven, and the north half of the northeast quarter, the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter and lot number one of section eighteen, in township fifty-three north, range sixty-five; the east half of section twelve and the north half of the northeast quarter of section thirteen in township fifty-three north, range sixty-six, all west of the Sixth Principal Meridian, as shown upon the map hereto attached and made a part of this proclamation.

Warning is hereby expressly given to all unauthorized persons not Land reserved to appropriate injure or destroy any feature of the natural tower hereby declared to be a National monument or to locate or settle upon any of the lands reserved and made a part of said monument by this proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixt.

Done at the City of Washington, this 24th day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and six [SEAL.] and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-first.


By the President:

     Alvey A. Adee

          Acting Secretary of State.

Comprehension Questions

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