July 18 — Gilbert White, the “First Ecologist,” Born (1720)

            The man often called “the first ecologist” is Gilbert White, British clergyman, gardener and naturalist, born July 18, 1720 (died 1793).  White lived most of his adult life in the English village of Selborne in the county of Hampshire, about an hour south of London.  He was educated at Oxford and was ordained in […]

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July 17 — Handel’s “Water Music” Premiered (1717)

A calendar entry that unites the qualities of water with the qualities of art always seems appropriate, even though picking a particular day to honor this relationship is a bit problematic.  Water symbolizes so much—tranquility or excitement, beauty or terror, peacefulness or power. I can imagine no one who doesn’t think fondly of the rejuvenating […]

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July 14 — George Washington Carver National Monument Established (1943)

The founding of this national monument provides an opportunity to discuss the life and accomplishments of George Washington Carver, pioneering African-American plant scientist and conservationist.             Carver was born during the Civil War, but the date is unknown—because he was a slave.  He and his family lived and worked on the farm of Moses Carver […]

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July 11 — World Population Day

            The United Nations has designated July 11 each year as World Population Day.  This date was chosen in 1990 because it was the anniversary of the Day of Five Billion, when the world’s human population was estimated to have reached five billion individuals in 1989.  Total world population in mid-2020 is around 7.6 billion […]

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July 13 — Source of the Mississippi River Discovered (1832)

Let’s get one thing straight right now:  Native Americans knew well before 1832 where the Mississippi River started.  So, what July 13, 1832, represents is the day when someone told the world about it.             That someone was Henry Rowe Schoolcraft.  Schoolcraft worked for the U.S. government, responsible for relations with Native Americans of the […]

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July 9 — Starbucks Abandoned Plastic Straws (2018)

This may be a conservation/environmental event or not, we’ll see.  On July 9, 2018, Starbucks announced that it would eliminate use of plastic straws sometime in 2020.  Where did this hatred of plastic straws come from? And is it important, or just the latest social media feel-good craze?             Let’s go back to the beginning.  […]

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July 10 — Rainbow Warrior Bombed and sunk (1985)

            On July 10, 1985, two bombs placed on the hull of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior exploded, sinking the ship and killing two crew members.              The Rainbow Warrior was Greenpeace’s primary oceanic protest boat.  It was in harbor at Auckland, New Zealand, preparing for a voyage to interfere with planned nuclear tests by […]

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