National Register Bulletin 15 states "Properties can be eligible for the National Register if they are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.
"To be considered for listing under Criterion A, a property must be associated with one or more events important in the defined historic context. Criterion A recognizes properties associated with single events, such as the founding of a town, or with a pattern of events, repeated activities, or historic trends, such as the gradual rise of a port city's prominence in trade and commerce. The event or trends, however, must clearly be important within the associated context: settlement, in the case of the town, or development of a maritime economy, in the case of the port city. Moreover, the property must have an important association with the event or historic trends, and it must retain historic integrity.
"A property can be associated with either (or both) of two types of events: A specific event marking an important moment in American prehistory or history and A pattern of events or a historic trend that made a significant contribution to the development of a community, a State, or the nation."
For examples of property types that meet Criteria A click here.