Environmental History

OR HOW THE BOY SCOUTS CAME TO AMERICA

Africa was part of my childhood. The attic in our Detroit home smelled like a zoo. There were lion, leopard, zebra, antelope, and colobus monkey skins that my sister and I and our friends used to take out of their trunks and forget to put back. Read more >>

These hardy Texas beasts with “too much legs, horns, and speed” had long since been replaced by stodgier breeds. Now they were facing extinction…

If you are someone who thought the Texas longhorn was as dead as the passenger pigeon, here is a bit of news. Read more >>
In 1879 Jim McCauley lured his sweetheart onto Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point, California, and threatened to push her off if she didn’t marry him. This rather hardnosed method of popping the question worked, or so McCauley said. Read more >>

A Welsh waif adopted a new country and a new name and then became—thanks to a New York newspaper—the most famous African explorer of his time

On Sunday, December 8, 1872, the manager of the Theatre Comique on Broadway took the unusual step of buying up almost the entire front page of the New York Herald to puff the triumph of his latest presentation. Read more >>

Riding to hounds has been as much of a sport among well-to-do Americans as among the British gentry

Ask anyone where fox hunting originated and odds are he will respond promptly, “Why, the British Isles, of course.” Indeed, the cry of “Tallyho!” conjures up visions of Lord or Lady Poddlesmere galloping across the English countryside, leaping mammoth hedges for hours on end, a Read more >>

CUMBERLAND ISLAND AND HOW MODERN TIMES AT LAST HAVE REACHED IT

One of the good things that happened in America in 1970—a year otherwise noted for spreading oil slicks, raging forest fires, mercury in rainbow trout, and burgeoning pipelines in the tundra—was the decision by the National Park Service to purchase Cumberland Read more >>

The old gray mare was not the ecological marvel, in American cities, that horse lovers like to believe

To many urban Americans in the 1970’s, fighting their way through the traffic’s din and gagging on air heavy with exhaust fumes, the,automobile is a major villain in the sad tale of atmospheric pollution. Read more >>

Pilgrims and Puritans, naturally, hated the water, but by the turn of the century certain pleasures had been rediscovered

For some two hundred years the Europeans who planted themselves on our Atlantic shoreline turned their backs on the sea or merely farmed it. Read more >>

CONSERVATION

The lake was liberated from glacial ice ten thousand years before Babylon was built. Thus, it had more than fifteen thousand years in which to transform from an almost sterile, ice-gouged river valley into fecund, prosperous Lake Erie. Read more >>

The Rough Rider rode roughshod over writers who took liberties with Mother Nature’s children

It was an early spring evening in 1907. Theodore Roosevelt and Edward B. Read more >>
Everyone knows a little about the rise and fall of DDT—how it was once hailed as a great boon to mankind; how useful it was in field and garden, house and yard; and how at last to our dismay it was unmasked as a killer, the chemical Al Capone, a threat to our Read more >>

The shore line of Pyramid Lake, one of the West's great natural wonders, is steadily receding, robbed of the water it needs by a Bureau of Reclamation irrigation project.

On January 10, 1844, Lieutenant John C. Read more >>

From a way Down East came a stench of politics and potatoes, and news of a border incident that true patriots will long remember as

The traveller who leaves Maine on Route 6 and enters New Brunswick at Centreville encounters a curious monument beside the road only fifty feet inside the Canadian border. Read more >>

In a mere three hundred years we have despoiled a rich continent and seriously disturbed its balance of life. Nature may not let us escape the consequences much longer

Coming from an Old World intensively cut over, cultivated, and grazed by domestic animals, Europeans were awed and often overwhelmed by their first glimpses of North America—the clouds of sea birds enveloping rocky islands off Newfoundland, the waterfowl crowding sandy beaches and inland rivers, the stately forests with their “tribes” both feathered and furred that knew not the yoke of man.   Read more >>