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History of Arbor Day

The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. Pioneer Julius Sterling Morton, from Detroit, and his family settled in the Nebraska Plains in 1854. Nature enthusiasts, the Morton's noticed that their new surroundings lacked trees and plants, so they took it upon themselves to plant trees, flowers, and shrubs. He suggested that trees would serve as a valuable source of lumber and soil preservation for the Prairie state.

Years later, Morton suggested that a day be set aside for the intent of planting trees. Nebraskans responded as an estimated one million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872. In 1874, Governor Robert W. Furnas proclaimed and observed the first such Arbor Day holiday. Later that decade, other states passed similar legislation to observe Arbor Day. In 1882, Cincinnati became the first school district in the country to recognize it as a holiday, as their school superintendent cancelled classes for the day in order to allow the children to participate in Arbor Day activities.

Today, it is common for states to recognize Arbor Day on the last Friday of April, although it varies because of differing climate conditions.

Nationally Arbor Day is celebrated the last Friday in April

Tree Records