Devils Tower National Monument, which is located in northeastern Wyoming, was established on September 24, 1906 as the first U. S. national monument. This stamp, which was issued on September 24, 1956 commemorates the monument's 50th anniversary. Devils Tower rises dramatically 1,267 feet (386 m) above the surrounding terrain, and the summit is 5,112 feet (1,558 m) above sea level. It has a thousand-foot wide base and tapers to 275 feet at its flat summit.
According to Wikipedia, geologists agree that Devils Tower was formed by the intrusion of igneous material, but they cannot agree on how that process took place. As the molten rock cooled, mainly hexagonal columns were formed, and cracks occurred between them. Devils Tower did not visibly protrude above the surface until the softer sedimentary rocks overlying it eroded away. The more resistant igneous rock making up the tower survived the erosional forces, and the columns of Devils Tower began to appear as an isolated mass above the surrounding terrain.
Devils Tower is considered a sacred landmark by many Native American tribes, and Native American folklore includes several stories about its formation. In one story, giant bears spotted some girls who were playing and began to chase them. The girls climbed on a rock in an effort to escape the bear and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. The Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. When the bears tried to climb the rock, their claws left deep marks in the sides.
This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog