In 2012 our nation celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. From 1862 until 1976 when the Act was repealed by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, an estimated 800,000 persons acquired land under homestead laws in the United States (U.S.).
The Homestead Act impacted U.S. citizenry more significantly than any other land-related legislation in our country’s history. The Bureau of Land Management’s commemoration of the Act’s 150th anniversary wants Americans living today to be aware of this important era in their country’s past, its relevance today, and the respect that is due to the archeological and historical sites from the homestead era that are now managed on public lands.
Primary Documents in American History: Homestead Act (from the Library of Congress)
Teaching With Documents: The Homestead Act of 1862 (from the National Archives)
For Teachers: "Homestead History Unit 2" - information for lesson plans related to the Homestead Act (from the National Park Service Homestead National Monument)
About the Homestead Act (from the National Park Service)