Top 10 Most Depressing National Park Service Sites

Depression is not usually celebrated, but sometimes it is important to remember the terrible events that happened in the past.  You can either choose to avoid these National Park Service (NPS) sites or learn from them.  Southwest Pennsylvania is somewhat famous in the NPS for having three sites with an unpleasant history.  Click here to see all of our other Top 10 Lists, which are much more uplifting!

10. Whitman Mission National Historic Site (Washington)

Following a devastating 1847 measles epidemic , 13 missionaries were killed by grieving Cayuse families

9. River Raisin National Battlefield Park (Michigan)

American prisoners were slaughtered here during the War of 1812

8. Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument (Mississippi)

Like Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers was assassinated for his civil rights work

7. Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (District of Columbia)

The place where President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth

6. Johnstown Flood National Memorial (Pennsylvania)

More than 2,200 people died when a dam broke on May 31, 1889

5. Freedom Riders National Monument (Alabama)

Site of a 1961 public beating and bus burning where, fortunately, nobody was killed

4. Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (Colorado)

A senseless massacre by the U.S. military took place here and at Washita Battlefield National Historic Site in Oklahoma

3. Manzanar National Historic Site (California)

A Japanese internment camp during WWII, as are Tule Lake National Monument and Minidoka National Historic Site

2. Andersonville National Historic Site (Georgia)

This infamous Civil War prison is now site of the National Prisoner of War Museum

…and finally our #1 most depressing NPS site:

1. Flight 93 National Memorial (Pennsylvania)

The freshest wound of any of these historic sites, it is an emotional place to visit

Honorable Mentions

Booker T. Washington National Monument (Virginia)

Representative of the tragic life that all slaves led throughout the United States

Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland)

All Civil War battles were horrifying, but this one had an especially high casualty rate

Fort Necessity National Battlefield (Pennsylvania)

Rounding out the three southwest Pennsylvania sites is this ignominious George Washington defeat

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