Powerful, profane, brilliant, fierce—think about Phil Burton and you have to think in big, dramatic terms. He wasn't a moderate man. Elected to Congress from San Francisco in 1964, he fought for workers' rights, for seniors and people with disabilities, for the impoverished and underprivileged. Once convinced that creating national parks close to where people live would improve their lives, he fought for park legislation. He fought and he won.
In 1972, Phil Burton authored a bill that created this park, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. He went on to author national parks and recreation acts in 1978 and 1980 that were the most expansive ever to pass Congress. The 1978 bill alone more than doubled national park lands, nearly doubled the wild and scenic river system, and tripled the number of national trails.
Look out toward the Golden Gate. You can enjoy stunning landscapes and historic landmarks on both sides of the bridge because Phil Burton protected them from development. Across the country, you can visit wondrous and significant sites because Burton's vision forever influenced the way we, as a nation, view, value, and preserve our natural and cultural heritage.
"Phillip Burton was a great intellect and a passionate voice for workers, the poor, the elderly and people with disabilities,
and was a protector of human rights and the environment. Through his work, the world has been endowed with a lasting legacy of gifts. Years from now, people will continue to benefit from his dedication to a better future."
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
His Unmatched Legacy
Some of the many sites created or expanded through legislation sponsored by Phil Burton
National Historic Sites
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Georgia · Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Maryland · Boston African American National Historic Site, Massachusetts · Women's Rights National Historical Park, New York · Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico · Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Hawaii · War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam · Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, North Carolina · Georgia O'Keeffe National Historic Site, New Mexico · Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site, Pennsylvania · Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Massachusetts · Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Louisiana · Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Maryland and West Virginia
National Parks and Preserves
Channel Islands, California · Denali, Alaska · Lake Clark, Alaska · Gates of the Arctic, Alaska · Wrangell-St. Elias, Alaska ·
Yukon-Charley Rivers, Alaska · Kenai Fjords, Alaska · Biscayne, Florida
Oregon National Historic Trail · Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail · Continental Divide National Historic Trail · Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail · Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail · Iditarod National Historic Trail
National Recreation Areas
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California · Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California · Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Georgia · Gateway National Recreation Area, New York
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. · National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington, D.C. · Albert Einstein Memorial, Washington, D.C. · Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, D.C.