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Smith Bill to Rename Homestead National Monument as National Historical Park Passes House

November 20, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after his bill (H.R. 1472) to rename Homestead National Monument in Gage County, Nebraska, as Homestead National Historical Park passed the House of Representatives today.

“The Homestead Act shaped the American West and made the American dream real for millions of Americans. Exhibits at this park such as the modern visitor center and the easily navigated Homestead record database allows families to connect with their own history. Renaming this facility the Homestead National Historical Park more clearly describes the opportunities and hands-on learning experience at this living history site.”

The Homestead Act of 1862, signed into law by President Lincoln, allowed United States citizens to earn ownership of a portion of the vast public lands owned by the federal government, across the western United States. Ultimately the federal government granted titles to 10 percent of the land in the United States through this program. The Homestead National Monument located near Beatrice, Nebraska, commemorates the first claim under the Homestead Act. Homestead National Monument consists of a heritage museum, the Freeman School, a tall grass prairie, hiking trails, a forest, and farming demonstrations. H.R. 1472 now awaits action in the Senate.