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Fort Davis National Park Archives - Operation Golden Eagle (1966)

Fort Davis National Historical Site

Silent | 1966

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  •  Driving to Fort Davis with a Federal Recreation Area Entrance Permit 
  •  Advertisement for Operation Golden Eagle: Families paid $7 to provide more Local, State, and Federal outdoor recreation lands and waters, making them Golden Eagle families and holders of the annual Golden Passport permits. This granted them admission to thousands of national forest, park, refuge Federal recreation areas. 
  •  Swing set 
  •  Hiking in the woods 
  •  Traffic 
  •  Driving through the wilderness 
  •  Playing at the beach 
  •  Camping by the river 
  •  At the beach 
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This silent television spot advertises the National Park Service’s initiative, Operation Golden Eagle. With the payment of $7 to local, state, or federal outdoor recreation organizations, visitors became Golden Eagle families and owners of Golden Eagle passports. The passports granted access to parks all over the country and raised money for the Federal Conservation Fund. This commercial provides examples of various outdoor activities, including camping, swimming, and hiking.
Brevet Major General Persifor Frazer Smith established Fort Davis in October 1854. Named after Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, the fort is one of the last remaining frontier military posts in the Southwest. The primary goal of the post was to guide travelers through the San Antonio-El Paso Road and to fight the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Tribes along the way. However, the federal government ordered the evacuation of the fort at the start of the Civil War. 
For the next six years, Fort Davis underwent periods of Confederate occupation, Union occupation, and total desertion. In 1867, Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Merritt and the 9th Cavalry took over the fort and built new accommodations and structures. At its height, it held over 100 structures and housed over 400 troops. However, in 1880, Colonel Bemjamin Grierson of the 10th Cavalry led the last raid against the Apaches and their leader Victorio into Mexico, signaling the end of the Indian Wars in Texas. By 1891, Fort Davis outlived its purpose and was left abandoned. Today is it on the National Registry of Historic Places and remains a frequently visited tourist attraction.