The National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 established the National Park Service as part of the Department of the Interior. The new agency was charged with promoting and regulating the use of national parks, monuments, and reservations and preserving them “for the enjoyment of future generations.”
A major earthquake—later estimated to be between 7.7 and 7.9 on the Richter scale—struck San Francisco at 5:12 a.m. The devastation grew as broken gas lines caused widespread fires and much of the city was destroyed. As many as 3,000 people were killed, and more than half of the survivors found themselves homeless.
The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution forbidding the manufacture, sale, transportation, import, and export of “intoxicating liquors” was ratified, instituting Prohibition nationwide. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933.