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One visit I arrived on the day when the park was presenting activities in honor of Captain (later Colonel) Charles Young and his Buffalo Soldiers. This was the Centennial of Colonel Young's season as the first African-American Park Superintendent. The parks were run by the army until the National Park Service was established in 1916. Prior to 1916 the Army assigned cavalry troops to make improvements, patrol the parks and protect the Big Trees.

According to the program, 'Young and his troupers accomplished more in that one summer than their predecessors had in a full decade'.

Colonel Young was the third African-American to graduate from West Point and this is another quote from the program 'It is recorded that he felt that "...the worst he could wish for an enemy would be to make him a black man and send him to West Point."'
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