September 7 — Edward Birge, Father of Limnology, born (1851)

The science of limnology—the study of freshwater lakes and rivers—is synonymous with the name of Edward Asahel Birge, born on September 7, 1851 (died 1950).  Along with his colleague, Chancey Juday, the pair are considered among the founders of freshwater science throughout the world.     Birge was born in New York and received Bachelors […]

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September 3 — Wilderness Act passed (1964)

President Lyndon B. Johnson held a White House Rose Garden ceremony on September 3, 1964, signing into law the Wilderness Act.  The Wilderness Act created the system that legally preserves our wildest lands from development of any kind. Various kinds of “wilderness” areas had been created during the first half of the 20th Century, but […]

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August 31 — John Muir Home preserved (1964)

August 31, 1964, was a busy day for the National Park Service.  On that day, four National Historic Sites and one National Memorial were signed into existence by President Lyndon Johnson.  The sites include Fort Lamed (Kansas), the Allegheny Portage Railroad (Pennsylvania), the Johnstown Flood Memorial (Pennsylvania), Saint-Gaudens (New Hampshire), and the John Muir homestead […]

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August 22 — Loch Ness Monster first seen (565)

Although the Loch Ness monster has been a mythological legend throughout time, the first recorded observation of the creature occurred on August 22, 565.  On that date St. Columba, an Irish priest traveling through Scotland, is said to have confronted the beast as it attempted to eat one of his colleagues. St. Columba raised his […]

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August 20 — The Great Fire (1910)

Raging forest fires have become a regular news item in the summers of recent years, but no fire has ever come close to the fire that burned in Idaho during the summer of 1910.  Known as the Big Blow and the Great Fire, it started on the night of August 20. The year had begun […]

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August 19 — Cickamauga and Chattanooga Battlefield established

The first military battlefield protected by the U.S. government was the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Memorial Park, established on August 19, 1890.  The park preserves various locations in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee, that comprised an important Civil War confrontation during the second half of1863. The park pre-dated all other battlefield parks, including Gettysburg (established five […]

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August 18 — Margaret Murie born (1902)

Margaret “Mardy” Murie, known widely as the “Grandmother of Conservation,” was born on August 18, 1902 (died 2003).  Along with her husband, Olaus Murie, she spent a lifetime—a 101-year lifetime—in the service of wilderness preservation. Margaret Elizabeth Thomas was born in Seattle, but moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, as a girl.  She became the first woman […]

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August 17 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore created (1937)

On August 17, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law an act that established the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Although created by this law, the park did not actually come into existence until the mid-1950s, when enough land had been acquired to merit the area’s designation as a functioning National Park Service facility. Cape Hatteras […]

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