Crossroads of the World: Tourists walk at Times Square in New York on April 8. In 1904, Longacre Square was renamed Times Square for the opening of the new headquarters of the New York Times newspaper in the Times Building, now called One Times Square and the site of the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve. Liu Xin/Xinhua/Photoshot/Newscom/File
The Entertainment Capital of the World: Tourists watch fireworks explode over Caesar's Palace as the Bellagio fountain show plays in Las Vegas on July 3. Las Vegas, which means 'the meadows' in Spanish, was settled because of the availability of water – in the 19th century, artesian wells created green areas in the desert. Julie Jacobson/AP
A crowd gathers for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington on July 3. The National Mall receives approximately 24 million visitors each year – many of them in the summer, despite the sweltering heat. Luis M. Alvarez/AP
The Happiest Place on Earth: Daisy Duck poses with visitors at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Fla., in 2007. The free monorail that serves the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and the Disney resorts makes for a worthwhile ride all on its own. Mel Longhurst/Capital/Newscom/File
A brass band plays at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., in 2010. Disneyland opened on July 18, 1955, and is the only theme park designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. Disneyland has had almost 600 million guests since it opened – a larger cumulative number than any other theme park. Bill Bachmann/Lonely Planet/Newscom/File
City by the Bay: Tourists watch California sea lions on Fisherman's Wharf Pier 39 in San Francisco. Visitors to Fisherman's Wharf also tour the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes the famous bridge. Stephen Saks/Lonely Planet Images/Newscom/File
Most Visited National Park in the United States: Jeffrey and Mary Shapiro, of Johnson City, Tenn., share their a sunset atop Mt. LeConte in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2009. The border of Tennessee and North Carolina runs through the center of the park. John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer/MCT/Newscom/File
Chicago's Navy Pier opened in 1916 on the shore of Lake Michigan and has served as a campus and military training facility. Fifty acres of shops, restaurants, and exposition facilities make up the current complex, including the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Chicago Children's Museum. Walter Bibikow/Danita Delimont/Newscom/File
Tourists walk on the glass-bottomed Skywalk that extends 70 feet over the edge of Grand Canyon West's Eagle Point in northwestern Arizona in 2007. The Grand Canyon Skywalk opened to the general public on the Hualapai Indian Reservation in 2007. Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic/AP/File
One of the surprising things about Mt. Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone, S.D., is how far away the former presidents' stone faces are from the viewing area. The memorial was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum from 1927 until his death in 1941 and finished by his son Lincoln. Cindy Miller Hopkins/Danita Delimont Photography/Newscom/File
Seventy years ago, AP's Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. The Christian Science Monitor reported why the tiny island played such a huge role in the war's Pacific theater.
ByJoseph C. Harsch, Staff writer
This article originally ran in The Christian Science Monitor on Feb. 23, 1945, on the same day when Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the nation's flag on the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean. The Monitor's Joseph C. Harsch explained at the time why Iwo Jima played such an important role in the US campaign in the Pacific during World War II.