October 21 — “Ding” Darling born (1876)

Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling was born on October 21, 1876 (died 1962).  Darling became one of the nation’s foremost editorial cartoonists, but his real love was for conservation.  He became known as “the best friend a duck ever had.” Darling was raised on the edge of the Iowa prairie frontier, learning to ride, shoot and […]

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October 20 — OPEC Oil Embargo (1973)

On October 20, 1973, Middle Eastern oil-producing countries all agreed to stop exporting petroleum products to the United States.  The embargo had severe repercussions for the American lifestyle and economy, but it also produced a long-term environmental win:  the beginning of conservation in our use of fossil fuels. The early 1970s were a tough time […]

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October 19 — Research Vessel Albatross Launched (1882)

The first ship designed and built to perform deep-sea oceanic research was launched on October 19, 1882.  Albatross ranged the world’s oceans for the next 38 years, making it the first and most effective vessel “to undertake the exhaustive scientific exploration of the ocean.” Albatross owes its existence to the realization in the mid-1800s that […]

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October 18 — Clean Water Act established (1972)

The Clean Water Act became law on October 18, 1972, establishing for the first time an aggressive, comprehensive approach to federal water pollution control.  Amended several times since then, the Clean Water Act (CWA) remains one of the most important environmental laws in the United States. Water pollution, like other environmental insults, had become an […]

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October 17 — Oliver Rackham born (1939)

Oliver Rackham, the world’s foremost expert on the ancient woodlands of England, was born on October 17, 1939 (died 2015).  He spent his career and life investigating the history of landscapes, especially the wooded ecosystems of England and Crete. Oliver Rackham was born in Suffolk, on the southeastern coast of England.  He was an excellent […]

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October 16 — World Food Day

October 16 is celebrated annually as World Food Day, a day to focus on the nutritional needs of people around the world.  This date was selected to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which occurred on October 16, 1945. As World War II was coming to an […]

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September 29 — Steinhart Aquarium opens (1923)

People love to look at fish.  Doesn’t matter if it is a 10-gallon tank in one’s bedroom or a museum exhibit the size of a small lake.  The people of San Francisco got their first chance to enjoy fish watching on a grand scale when the Steinhart Aquarium opened its doors on September 29, 1923. […]

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September 27 — “Silent Spring” Published (1962)

On September 27, 1962, a highly-anticipated book hit the shelves.  Reactions to it were immediate and strong.  The author’s best friend called it “the poison book.”  A spokesperson for the agricultural chemical industry called it “…gross distortions of the actual facts, completely unsupported by scientific, experimental evidence….”  Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas called it […]

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September 22 — Peace Corps becomes law (1961)

On September 22, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Peace Corps Act, securing the long-term continuation of an ideal inspired nearly a year before by candidate Kennedy.  Since then, nearly a quarter of a million Americans have volunteered to serve the developing nations of the world in 141 countries. The idea for the Peace […]

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September 20 — AAAS Founded (1848)

The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) was founded on September 20, 1848.  Since that time, it has grown to be the largest general scientific society in the world, serving 10 million people through 250 affiliated societies and individual memberships. The AAAS evolved from the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists, which had […]

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