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remembrance of the day. This festival still exists and is known as “The Switch Parade."

“The first to call attention in this country, in an impressive way, to the value and absolute need of trees,” writes Egleston,* “was that eminent scholar and wise observer, Mr. George P. Marsh, for many years our worthy representative at the courts of Italy and Turkey. His residence in those older countries was calculated to draw his attention to the subject as it would not have been drawn had he always lived in his native land.

"In Europe Mr. Marsh found the governments of Italyand Germany, as well as those of other countries, making active endeavors and at great expense to rehabilitate their forests, which had been depleted centuries before, to guard them from depredation, and, instead of leaving them to be consumed at the bidding of personal greed or recklessness, cherishing them as among their most precious possessions. He found schools, of a grade corresponding to our colleges, established for the special purpose of training men for the successful planting and cultivation of forests. He found the growth of trees in masses and their maintenance reduced to a science, and the management of the woodlands constituting one of the most important departments of state.

“Such discoveries were well calculated to fix his attention upon the very different condition of the

*“Arbor Day: Its History and Observance,” by N. H. Egleston. * In “ Çuriosities of Popular Customs,”

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forests in his own country, and to convince him that the reckless destruction of them then going on here, if not checked, would bring upon this land the same calamities which had befallen countries of the Old World in past centuries, and from which only the most enlightened nations of Europe are now recovering, through the arduous efforts of many decades, and at great pecuniary cost. The result of Mr. Marsh's observations was the publication of a volume entitled 'The Earth and Man,' and to the admirable chapter on 'The Woods,' more than to any other source, perhaps, we are indebted for the awakening of attention here to our destructive treatment of the forests and the necessity of adopting a different course if we would avert most serious consequences, threatening, possibly, more than anything else our material welfare.'

The cause of our American trees was taken up and zealously advocated by a number of publicspirited men, prominent among whom was B. G. Northrup who, in the pages to follow, has written so eloquently of Arbor Day's spirit and significance.

But the official father of the movement was J. Sterling Morton, afterward Secretary of Agriculture during President Cleveland's second term. “In 1872," writes Walsh,* "he was a member of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, and he offered a resolution setting apart April 1oth of that

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year as 'tree-planting day.' There were some members of the board who contended for the name ‘Sylvan Day,' but Mr. Morton talked them out of this title. The resolution as finally adopted recommended that the people throughout the state plant trees on the day named, and offered, in the name of the board, a prize of one hundred dollars to the agricultural society of that county which should plant properly the largest number of trees. To the person planting the largest number of trees a farm library worth twenty-five dollars was offered. The board requested the newspapers to keep this resolution before their readers, and the newspapers responded so generously that more than one million trees were planted throughout Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

“Next year the day was observed with increased interest, and in 1874 the governor officially proclaimed the second Wednesday of April as Arbor Day for Nebraska. The day was named thus by proclamation until 1885, when the legislature designated April 22d as Arbor Day and a holiday. Since that time a provision has been inserted in the Constitution of Nebraska declaring that the increased value of lands, by reason of live fences, fruit and forest trees grown and cultivated thereon, shall not be taken into account in the assessment thereof.' In addition to this, Nebraska has enacted many statutory provisions touching upon the planting

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of trees. One directs the corporate authorities of cities and towns to cause shade trees to be planted along the streets, and empowers the authorities to make additional assessments for taxation upon lands benefited by such planting. Another section of the law provides for the planting of trees not more than twenty feet apart upon each side of one-fourth of the streets in every city and village of Nebraska. Most persons acquainted with the needs of really valuable shade trees realize that such trees should be planted a good deal farther apart than the distance thus indicated by law.

“One result of all this legislation, and of the premiums offered each year by the State Board of Agriculture, has been the astonishing prosperity of nurserymen in Nebraska. In the first sixteen years after Arbor Day was instituted there were more than three hundred and fifty million trees and vines planted in Nebraska, and the observance of the day is still kept up with interest.

"In 1876 Michigan and Minnesota followed suit, and like action was soon taken in other states. In 1887 the Education Department of Ontario ordered that the first Friday in May should be set apart by the trustees of every rural school and incorporated village for planting shade trees and making flowerbeds in the school grounds.

"New York did not fall in line until 1888,

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when, on April 30, the following act was approved by the governor:

SECTION 1. The Friday following the first day of May in each year shall hereafter be known throughout this state as Arbor Day.

$2. It shall be the duty of the authorities of every public school in this State, to assemble the scholars in their charge on that day in the school building, or elsewhere, as they may deem proper, and to provide for and conduct, under the general supervision of the city superintendent or the school commissioner, or other chief officers having the general oversight of the public schools in each city or district, such exercises as shall tend to encourage the planting, protection and preservation of trees and shrubs, and an acquaintance with the best methods to be adopted to accomplish such results.

$3. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction shall have power to prescribe from time to time, in writing, a course of exercises and instruction in the subjects hereinbefore mentioned which shall be adopted and observed by the public school authorities on Arbor Day, and upon receipt of copies of such course, sufficient in number to supply all the schools under their supervision, the school commissioner or city superintendent aforesaid, shall promptly provide each of the schools under his or their charge with a copy, and cause it to be adopted and observed.

"By a popular vote the pupils of the state schools of New York decided that the white elm was the tree and the rose the flower of the state. They are therefore called upon to do all in their power to increase the number of both by planting them on Arbor Day. With this object in view, Central Park and the big pleasure grounds in the upper part of the city are thrown open to them. Small parties of tree planters start from most of the uptown schools in the afternoon, and go to some nook chosen

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