The Social Causes of John D. Rockefeller Jr. : How Rockefeller changed the “Bleak World” When people think of John D. Rockefeller Jr. they think Billionaire, Oil Tycoon or Entrepreneur. Not many view him as Naturalist, Environmentalist or a social benefactor, but just as Mr. Rockefeller has a long list of business accomplishments he also has a lengthy list of causes he started and supported throughout his life. The most famous of these would probably Rockefeller center which he called “a gift to the greatest city in the world, for the greatest people in the world. (John D. Rockefeller interview with New York Times 1939) Rockefeller donated over 22 acres of prime downtown real estate for the 19 building complex. Construction began amidst the worst economic depression the U. S. had ever seen in one of the most ravished city in the U. S. Rockefeller center gave thousands of unemployed New Yorkers with a not only a job but a purpose to rebuild after the stock crashes of Wall Street. Not only did he fund Rockefeller Center but funded the restoration of famous historical monuments in the U. S. including Williamsburg and Gettysburg.
He also donated land for the creation of the United Nations in New York. All of these causes are great and have done a lot of good for a lot of people. But I think he best causes are the ones that have to deal with the Landscape of this nation. John D. Child 2 Rockefeller Jr. had a soft spot for the natural beauty this nation posses. John Rockefeller claims that his love of nature came from his mother who had always been fascinated by the natural world. John threw an estimated $550,000,000 towards social charities mainly dealing with the preservation of the United States.
John For example, through the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, he donated $5 million to buy private lands in the Great Smoky Mountains "in the beautiful spirit of my mother. " Acadia, Shenandoah, and Grand Teton national parks also received generous donations of land from Mr. Rockefeller. In the 1920s, when commercial loggers threatened to destroy large stands of sugar pines adjacent to Yosemite, he provided more than $1 million to save 15,000 acres of forest. Mr. Child 3 Rockefeller financed the construction of museums in Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, nd Yellowstone national parks. In 1972 Congress honored his contributions by creating a memorial parkway between Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, which bears his name. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. , symbolizes the philanthropic spirit of many American families, foundations, and individuals that have been vital to the national parks. Another one of his major contributions was to the Snake River Land Company a Utah based company which sole purpose was to buy land surrounding the Snake River for investment and preservation purposes.
The land which was bought surrounding the Tetons was donated to the National Park Service in 1935 more the tripling the area that it covered. He saw the Tetons as “a symbol of the west that everyone should have a chance to see” (John D. Rockefeller Child 4 NPS Grand Teton Historical File) This promoted his tourism campaign for the Greater Yellowstone Area. John funded lodges, railroad projects and other infrastructure improvements to get people more than just the rich to visit the national landmark. Along with the Snake River Land Company he also great a similar organization along California Northern Coast which is home to the redwoods.
The Save the Redwoods League brought together a large group of Affluent people who saw the need to protect the redwoods. I find it quite ironic that the richest people in America or the “1 percenter’s” of this time are who saved a lot of the landscape of this nation are hated by environmentalists today because of their success. The worlds oil tycoon saved the natural wonders that in my opinion probably wouldn't have been saved other wise. John D. Rockefeller will always be remembered as an business legend but his legacy for what he did for the last places of solitude in the nation is legendary.
He saved the places that I love to spend time enjoying this beautiful country. We are all indebted to the Rockefellers for the insight and vision he had for this great nation. Child 5 Sources Daugherty, John, The Park Service First 75 Years, John D. Rockefeller Jr. , Biography, National Park Service Grand Teton NP, July 24th 2004, Web John D. Rockefeller Jr. , Great Americans, PBS. org, August 23, 1999, Web Members, Save the Redwoods League, March 7th, 2007 Web http://library. brown. edu/about/rock/ John D. Rockfeller Alma Mater biography February 1987 All pictures are from NPS historical file Copyright NPS. gov 2012