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Enter the National Park Service Photo Contest

Posted Aug 04 2010 5:11pm

Cropped cover art for 2010 NHL Event PlannerHave you ever snapped a photo of a historic place in the U.S. and thought, "Hey, this turned out pretty well—I could win a contest!" If your exceptional photo is of a National Historic Landmark , then your words just might come true.

The National Park Service ’s 11th annual photo contest, "Imaging Our National Heritage," is underway, and is open to both amateur shutterbugs and professional photographers. Winning photographs will be featured in the 2011 National Historic Landmark wall calendar , sold by the Government Printing Office .

If you’re an American history buff like I am, chances are that you’ve taken a photo of a National Historic Landmark. There are nearly 2,500 NHLs in the country, and they’re in every state, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Technically, they’re " nationally significant historic places …[that] possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States."

NHLs are sometimes easy to spot: American icons like the Statue of Liberty, Mount Vernon, Pearl Harbor, Alcatraz, and the Apollo Mission Control Center are just a few of the more famous landmarks.

But there are hundreds of lesser-known NHLs that are also integral to American history. Examples include the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road (an engineering marvel in Montana’s Glacier National Park); the Church of the Holy Family (a French Colonial-era log church in Cahokia, Illinois); and the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty Site in Noxubee County, Mississippi (which forcibly removed most Choctaw tribal members to land west of the Mississippi River).

Search the list to find an NHL near you, and see photo contest winners from past years . The contest will be open to entries through September 10, 2010. For more information, visit the photo contest website . Good luck!

Have you visited any National Historic Landmarks?

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