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Jump Back in Time Western Expansion & Reform (1829-1859)
Moran's painting of The Tower of Tower Falls, Yellowstone
The Tower of Tower Falls in Yellowstone

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Painter Thomas Moran Was Born
February 12, 1837

Can a painting have an impact on society? Thomas Moran's paintings of Western landscapes inspired Americans to save their wilderness areas as national parks. Moran was born in 1837 on February 12. In the summer of 1871, Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson joined the U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories. Their job on this scientific expedition was to sketch and photograph lands along the Yellowstone River in northwestern Wyoming and southeastern Montana. Moran took detailed notes and made numerous sketches of the beautiful evergreen mountain peaks and waterfalls, but he also drew pictures of some sights even stranger than the one depicted in this painting.
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