April 22 — The First Earth Day (1970)

Today “Earth Day” is celebrated every year around the world on April 22.  The day itself sprawls into celebrations of earth week, even earth month.  From pre-schools to senior-citizen centers, as many as one billion people spend the day thinking about and acting on behalf of a sustainable environment.  It started out much more simply. […]

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April 19 — E. Lucy Braun, Plant Ecologist, Born (1889)

Pioneers are people who create paths through unknown places.  Lucy Braun did so, figuratively and literally. Emma Lucy Braun was born on April 19, 1889, in Cincinnati, Ohio, which would be her home for her entire life (she died at age 81 in 1971).  She roamed the local woodlands as a young girl with her […]

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April 18 — Natural History Museum, London, Opened (1881)

Yes, the official opening date of the Natural History Museum in London was April 18, 1881, when the iconic building it still occupies saw its first visitors.  But the exhibits in the museum have a history that starts considerably before the official opening. The famed British Museum opened in 1753 when the eclectic collections of […]

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April 17 — Ford Mustang Introduced (1964)

If April 16, 1972, was a day on which Panda-Monium broke out in the U.S. because of the appearance of giant pandas, April 17 was a day of pandemonium  for another kind of beast—the Ford Mustang. The 1964 ½ Ford Mustang could be purchased for the first time on April 17, 1964.  Car fans awaited […]

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April 16 — Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing Arrive in U.S. (1972)

When President Richard Nixon met with Mao Zedong in Beijing in February, 1972, the summit opened up relations between the countries that had been closed since just after the end of World War Two.  But the real détente began when two much more cuddly ambassadors from China hit America’s shores. Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, two juvenile […]

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April 15 — Nikolaas Tinbergen, Animal Behaviorist, Born (1907)

Calling Nikolaas Tinbergen an animal behaviorist is a little like calling the Grand Canyon a little hole in the ground.  Tinbergen, along with his colleague Konrad Lorenz, established the modern field of animal ethology, now an essential element of ecology and conservation. Niko Tinbergen was born in The Hague, Netherlands, on April 15, 1907 (died […]

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April 14 — Black Sunday Dust Storm (1935)

For the drought-stricken residents of the Great Plains, Palm Sunday of 1935 seemed like a fresh start.  The winds had stopped, the temperature had warmed and the sun was out.  It was spring, and perhaps the start of a year when rains would return and life could be normal again. But by late afternoon, everything […]

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