Connecticut Audbon Society


Trail to Earth Day #18: was this the actual first Earth Day?

Looking for better things in the future.

April 22, 2020 — For the final installment on the Trail to Earth Day we’re going back, thanks to This
Day in Connecticut History and to John Folsom, who represents Pomfret on Connecticut Audubon’s Board of Directors.

John sent us something this morning that we never knew about. In 1817, Noah Webster, the great lexicograher who was born in West Hartford, published an essay in the Courant calling for a new era of environmental sustainability, particular the forests of New England.

The date, amazingly enough, was April 22.

Webster wrote, “We are not to waste and destroy, for the sake of present enjoyment; we must not strip the inheritance of [New England’s] wood and its fences and its timber, and leave it barren and impoverished to the next generation. We must not be so improvident as to render our country uninhabitable.”

Strong words for 1817 and totally relevant in 2020. Here’s the entry from This Day in Connecticut History. It’s well worth reading.

We hope tomorrow you find better things. Here are two versions: the original, by the Kinks, and a cover by Fountains of Wayne, one of whose members, Adam Schlesinger, succumbed to covid 19.







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