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Secretary Langley with Others Survey Zoo Grounds, by Unknown, c. 1888, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 75-1755.

March 2, 1889

Following debate in its 1888 and 1889 sessions, the U.S. Congress passes a bill for the acquisition of land for a National Zoological Park in the District of Columbia. A commission is appointed to establish the location of the park, composed of the Secretary of the Interior, president of the Board of Commissioners of D.C., and the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. The commission is authorized to choose a tract of land not less than 100 acres along Rock Creek deemed suitable and appropriate for a zoological park, appraise its value, and return this value to the Congress who will pay the owners thus establishing a valid title to the land.More

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