Celebrating a Century at Grand Canyon 1970-1979
Part 6 of 10: Grand Canyon through the decades
1970: 33 inches of snow fell at the South Rim
1975: President Gerald Ford signed the Grand Canyon Enlargement Act
Sponsored by Arizona Republican Barry Goldwater, the Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act provided federal protection to an additional 526,425 acres surrounding the Grand Canyon.
The bill recognized the importance of the Grand Canyon in its entirety, “from the mouth of the Paria River to the Grand Wash Cliffs, including tributary side canyons and surrounding plateaus.”
The bill also returned about 188,000 acres of land to the Havasupai Tribe.
1976: Pioneering photographer and Grand canyon explorer Emory Kolb dies
The Kolb Brothers, Emery and Ellsworth, were the original daredevils of the Grand Canyon, building their photography studio perched on the very edge and creating the first movie of the inner canyon.
Although Ellsworth moved on to other pursuits, Emery lived at the Canyon, in his studio, until his death at the age of 94. He steadfastly refused to turn over the rights to the building to the National Park Service until the passage of the Historic Sites Act, which assured that NPS could not demolish the building as it had once planned to do.
1978: A hiker finds the remains of Bert Loper, who drowned in 1949
A hiker finds the skeletal remains of Bert Loper, the “Grand Old Man of the Colorado River,” who drowned during a run through Marble Gorge. He was 79 years old at the time, and those with him reported he had likely had a heart attack while going through a section of rapids and was dead before he hit the water.
1979: The lowest temperature ever recorded at the South Rim was -17 Fahrenheit