♪ NARRATOR: The United States of America is blessed with the most spectacular lands in the world... ♪ ...from the waterfalls of Hawaii... ♪ ...to the lighthouses of Maine and Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
♪ From every national park... ♪ ...to every backyard garden, Americans love their country... ♪ ♪ From Sea to Shining Sea.
♪ ♪ Our national parks... the scenic byways... the historic sites... the majestic mountains... and the seashores and islands...
They inspire us... they belong to us... and they unite us.
[playing "America the Beautiful"] ♪ ♪ America is still a young country, still changing and growing.
In the farthest point west, on the Hawaiian Islands, America is literally growing, as lava flows into the sea and adds land to the Big Island.
[playing "America the Beautiful"] ♪ ♪ ♪ As the sun sets, we are reminded how Earth is ever-changing, ever-evolving.
♪ American landscapes have always inspired our writers and poets.
From the earliest days of our country to the newest generation of writers, words have always helped us understand who we are as Americans and to share our common experiences.
♪ MAN: Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
♪ NARRATOR: As the birds fly and the whales migrate, Alaska may not seem that far from Hawaii.
But for us, the 3,000 miles seems like the difference between fire and ice.
♪ ♪ Alaska is a land of extremes, as tall as it is wide.
Mount Denali rises 20,000 feet into the sky, the continent's tallest peak.
♪ ♪ ♪ Alaska may be the most wild part of America, but as you travel down the West Coast, it is hard not to fall in love with the rugged beauty of Washington State and Oregon.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ WOMAN: Love is a rainbow that appears When heaven's sunshine lights earth's tears.
All varied colors of the light Within its beauteous arch unite: There Passion's glowing crimson hue Burns near Truth's rich and deathless blue; And Jealousy's green lights unfold 'Mid Pleasure's tints of flame and gold.
O dark life's stormy sky would seem, If love's clear rainbow did not gleam!
♪ NARRATOR: As the fog clears and the skies turn blue, our thoughts turn to sunny days in California.
♪ ♪ ♪ In the far west southern corner of our country, San Diego sparkles like a jewel in the sea.
The breathtaking beaches... ♪ Balboa Park, site of the Panama-California Exposition of 1915... ♪ ...and the San Diego Zoo... all captivate visitors from around the country.
♪ Yosemite National Park is at times so breathtaking that the scenery seems unreal.
♪ Are the waterfalls that thunder from the mountain peaks to the valley floor really there, if they disappear every fall and only spring back to life after the winter thaw?
♪ Only Yosemite's animals know for sure.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ MAN: Unimaginable the redwoods on the far hill, rooted for centuries, the living wood grown tall and thickened with a hundred thousand days of light.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: The Four Corners region marks the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
People from many nations come together in what is the most dramatic part of our country.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ WOMAN: Invisible fish swim this ghost ocean now described by waves of sand, by water-worn rock.
Soon the fish will learn to walk.
Then humans will come ashore and paint dreams on the dying stone.
Then later, much later, the ocean floor will be punctuated by Chevy trucks, carrying the dreamers' descendants, who are going to the store.
♪ NARRATOR: Old West towns and archaeological treasures also connect us to the past.
♪ ♪ The scenic byways of Colorado connect historic sites with majestic scenery, from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains to red rock canyons and sun-kissed prairies.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ WOMAN: We are the Trees.
Our dark and leafy glade Bands the bright earth with softer mysteries.
Beneath us changed and tamed the seasons run: In burning zones, we build against the sun Long centuries of shade.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: The Grand Canyon is a sight that every American should experience at least once.
The canyon is 277 miles long... and in some places 18 miles wide and a full mile deep.
♪ The colorful walls contain rock layers, some of them 1.8 billion years old.
Standing at its rim, you can look down into Earth's past and take a few contemplative moments to imagine the future.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ NARRATOR: America is a country as dramatic as it is diverse.
In the far northern corner of Montana, Glacier National Park offers some of the most stunning vistas in all of North America.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Next door in Idaho, the Salmon and Snake rivers shimmer with some of the best white water in the world.
And at 212 feet high, Shoshone Falls is higher than Niagara Falls!
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Idaho is also home to a designated International Dark Sky Park, so stargazers can enjoy a celestial celebration.
♪ ♪ But perhaps the most impressive display from the skies seen in America is the northern lights, aurora borealis, a dance in the sky for those lucky enough to witness it on a clear night in the far north of our country.
♪ ♪ ♪ MAN: It's an earth song,-- And I've been waiting long for an earth song.
It's a spring song,-- And I've been waiting long for a spring song.
Strong as the shoots of a new plant Strong as the bursting of new buds Strong as the coming of the first child from its mother's womb.
It's an earth song, A body song, A spring song, I have been waiting long for this spring song.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: After a series of formal expeditions in the 1860s reported about the wonders of the Yellowstone area and artist renderings of the area were seen by the public, in 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park in the country.
Located mostly in Wyoming, it spreads gloriously into Idaho and Montana.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ People have lived in the Yellowstone area for 11,000 years, and of course they have shared the land with a wondrous array of animals.
♪ ♪ ♪ In prehistoric times, millions of American bison roamed from the forests of Alaska to Nevada's Great Basin to the Appalachian Mountains.
But by 1900, the bison were almost extinct.
Thanks in part to President Theodore Roosevelt, the bison were protected.
♪ And in 2016 the bison was officially named our country's national mammal.
♪ It joins the bald eagle as one of the symbols of our country's strength and resiliency.
♪ ♪ ♪ WOMAN: Watch the dewdrops in the morning, Shake their little diamond heads, Sparkling, flashing, ever moving, From their silent little beds.
See the grass!
Each blade is brightened, Roots are strengthened by their stay; Like the dewdrops, let us scatter Gems of love along the way.
♪ The spectacular scenery of the West dips into the Midwest and the rolling prairies, dazzling lakes and abundant forests.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ In the Great Plains, corn, soybeans, wheat and even wind farms shape the landscape.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ WOMAN: To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee.
The revery alone will do, If bees are few.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: Our country is lucky to be blessed with thousands of breathtaking rivers.
But none is as grand and sweeping as the Mississippi.
Traveling through 10 states, from Minnesota to Louisiana, the Mississippi River has transported goods, inspired writers, and helped define our country.
♪ ♪ ♪ It is home to millions of Americans... and our feathered friends.
♪ There are amazing birds all over our country from California condors that came back from extinction and still soar over the canyons of the West... ♪ ...to the great horned owl, who is at home in a wide range of habitats, from forests to grasslands to swamps and deserts... ♪ ...to Big Bend National Park in Texas, where hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert.
♪ To the birds that visit our backyard feeders... Americans appreciate all of the bird species that make America their home.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Trains have played an important role in the history and growth of our country.
From the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 to the modern trains of today, America would not be the same without them.
And what a way to see our country!
From the Pacific Surfliner in California... to the Grand Canyon Railway... to the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, there isn't a better view than one looking out through a train window.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ One of America's most iconic landmarks is Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
But around the country there are many famous sites that reflect our history and define our great cities and states.
♪ [playing "America the Beautiful"] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ NARRATOR: The United States of America is over 3.8 million square miles and has one of the most diverse populations in the world.
And the land is as diverse as the people.
♪ Perched near the border of Canada, Mackinac Island is in the middle of Lake Huron between the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan.
With no cars, horse-driven carriages and bicycles are the main modes of transportation.
The island's simplicity and charm hearken back to an earlier time in America.
♪ ♪ ♪ Another trip back in time is along the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, bordering Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Once a major transportation corridor for North American tribes, fur traders and explorers, the river became a major route to float logs from the pine forests of the Midwest.
♪ ♪ ♪ There are many historic places around our country that offer a glimpse back into our country's past.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ As the sun sets on a summer night, it is a reminder that our country's past is always connected to the present and to our country's future.
♪ MAN: Just a dash of lambent carmine Shading into sky of gold; Just a twitter of a song-bird Ere the wings its head enfold; Just a rustling sigh of parting From the moon-kissed hill to breeze; And a cheerful gentle, nodding Adieu waving from the trees; Just a friendly sunbeam's flutter Wishing all a night's repose, Ere the stars swing back the curtain Bringing twilight's dewy close.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: Americans love a good road trip!
And our country is blessed with some of the best in the world.
From the original road trip on Route 66, which starts in Chicago and after 2,400 glorious miles ends in Los Angeles... ♪ ...to the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana... ♪ ...over the Shenandoah Mountains in North Carolina and Virginia along the Blue Ridge Parkway and through the Texas Hill Country.
♪ From Nashville, Tennessee... ♪ ...to Natchez, Mississippi, on the scenic and historic Natchez Trace Parkway... ♪ ...to coastal New England... ♪ ...there is always a road trip waiting for Americans to get out and explore.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ MAN: In the dreamy silence Of the afternoon, a cloth of gold is woven Over wood and prairie; And the jaybird, newly Fallen from the heaven, Scatters cordial greetings, And the air is filled with Scarlet leaves, that, dropping, Rise again, as ever, With a useless sigh for Rest-- and it is Autumn.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: Arkansas is called the Natural State, and it's easy to see why... with magnificent waterways... unique rock formations... and stunning waterfalls that even in the winter are awe-inspiring.
♪ ♪ ♪ Every American has a favorite season, and every state shines brightest in certain months.
From autumn leaves in New England... to summer surf in Southern California... to spring wildflowers in the Midwest... ♪ ...and winter fun in the Rocky Mountains... ♪ ...Americans love every corner of our country in every season.
And there is always a season, somewhere, to experience the glory of our country.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ MAN: All the complicated details of the attiring and the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon moves gently among the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds against a sure winter the wise trees stand sleeping in the cold.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: For many Americans, a trip to New York City during the holiday season is the trip of a lifetime.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ South Carolina is called the Palmetto State for its signature palm tree, but is also celebrated for its beautiful beaches and gardens that soothe the soul.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Americans love gardens.
From community vegetable patches... to backyard planters... to windowsill herb gardens... and the grand gardens of legendary estates... there is always something to appreciate and celebrate in nature.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ WOMAN: It is dusk on the Lost Lagoon, And we two dreaming the dusk away, Beneath the drift of a twilight grey-- Beneath the drowse of an ending day And the curve of a golden moon.
It is dark on the Lost Lagoon, And gone are the depths of haunting blue, The grouping gulls, and the old canoe, The singing firs, and the dusk and--you, And gone is the golden moon.
O lure of the Lost Lagoon-- I dream to-night that my paddle blurs The purple shade where the seaweed stirs-- I hear the call of the singing firs In the hush of the golden moon.
♪ ♪ NARRATOR: The Atlantic coast of Florida stretches 1,200 miles from Amelia Island, past sugar-white beaches, 1,000 golf courses, and the historic launchpads of Cape Canaveral, before finally coming to the southernmost point in the continental United States: Key West!
♪ The Florida Everglades contain 1.5 million acres of sub-tropical wilderness the only place on Earth where both alligators and crocodiles co-exist.
♪ ♪ As our trip from sea to shining sea comes to the end, it is important to remember that the beauty of America will endure.
♪ From the Florida Everglades... to the lighthouses of Maine... from the prairies of Kansas... to the island of Puerto Rico.
[playing "America the Beautiful"] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ We are one country.
God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
♪ [playing "America the Beautiful"] ♪ ♪ ♪