National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior. NHLs possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, just over 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. NHLs come in many forms: historic buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts. Each NHL represents an outstanding aspect of American history and culture. National Park Service staff guide the nomination process for new Landmarks and provide assistance to existing Landmarks. The NPS does not administer all NHLs; many are administered by non-profits, universities, local and city governments and other non-federal entities. Although all NHLs are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, not all listings on the National Register of Historic Places are necessarily National Historic Landmarks.

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