Today is Earth Day. The day we are suppose to remember the planet we live on and help clean it up. Earth Day is a made-up holiday started by some Hippies back in the 1970’s as the birthday of the environmental movement.
I don’t celebrate Earth Day. I don’t need a day to celebrate the world. I celebrate Arbor Day. It is the United States’ original Earth Day. Arbor Day this year is Friday, April 26.
What is Arbor Day you ask? I’ll be glad to tell you.
The idea for Arbor Day originally came from Nebraska. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn’t disclose that the state was once a treeless plain. Yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day in the 1800s.
Among pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854 was J. Sterling Morton from Detroit. He and his wife were lovers of nature, and the home they established in Nebraska was quickly planted with trees, shrubs and flowers.N
On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for planting properly the largest number of trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.
Arbor Day is celebrated all over the world. What started in Nebraska in 1872 is celebrated by the following countries:
Australia, Brazil, Barbados, Bulgaria, Canada, China, The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands, Germany, Guam, Holland, Iceland, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Philippines, St. Maarten, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Togo, Tunisia, United Kingdom.
As a child my school in Brooklyn planted a tree each year. We had an assembly, special presentations about trees and the planet, and a special ceremony to plant the tree. Without the hoopla and commercialism of Earth Day. I still remember those occasions with joy and a few tears. Today’s children won’t have such fond memories. They will be lectured to on how they are destroying the planet. How they have to sacrifice their lifestyle to Save the Earth. A pity. A simple tree planting ceremony has more power than any lecturer could.
I ask you. On April 26 won’t you plant a tree? Keep an American Traditionalive. A tree makes your property look good, brings up your property’s value, helps to clean the air, and yes, it is huggable.