The decade of the 1880s proved among the most disastrous, desperate, life-threatening (and life-taking)–as winter in North America was at an extreme, the whole decade long. Climatologists have theories we understand today, but were unknown to our Victorian American ancestors. If you read a fictional book set in the 1880s, that touches on a mild winter, be surprised. Today, March 11th, is the anniversary of “the big one”.
The first Arbor Day was held in the early 1870’s in Nebraska. The event slowly became an annual occasion in all of the fifty States. This tradition of planting trees to beautify and forest the plains has benefited all states in the union. Quotes, a period newspaper article, and historic images enrich the historic understanding of this holiday’s origins.