Battling the British
Outnumbered by the 17,000 British troops under Sir William Howe, Washington's men fought at the Battle of White Marsh between Dec. 5 and 8, 1777. Following standard military strategy, Washington's men removed to winter quarters in Valley Forge on Dec. 19.
The soldiers built approximately 2,000 wooden huts in which to live during the winter. Disease ran rampant, as was common in such large camps. The army broke camp on June 19, 1778.
Inspired by the Centennial and Memorial Association of Valley Forge's actions to save Washington's headquarters, Pennsylvania named Valley Forge State Park its first state park in 1893.
The National Park Service designated Valley Forge a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and included it on the first National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
On July 4, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford visited Valley Forge State Park to sign authorization papers for the National Park Service to take control of the park and create Valley Forge National Historical Park, a gift from Pennsylvania to the nation.