Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill

Saving Green Space December 3, 1838 Today is the birthday of the English activist, conservationist, and naturalist Octavia Hill. From the time she was 13 years old, Octavia worked to make life better for the working class. As Octavia matured, she crystalized her advocacy. And one of Octavia’s most passionate causes was getting access to…

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Oliver Herford

Oliver Herford

The Dark Month of December December 2, 1860   Today is the birthday of the English-American writer, artist, and illustrator, Oliver Herford. Oliver’s wit was sharp and came through in his writing. He wrote: A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s: She changes it more often. — Oliver Herford, English-American writer, artist, and illustrator…

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Bette Midler

Bette Midler

Everything’s Coming Up Roses December 1, 1945 Today is the birthday of American singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer Bette Midler born in Honolulu. In 1979, Bette starred in her first movie called The Rose. She didn’t win an academy award for her Rose performance; that award went to Sally Field for Norma Rae.…

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Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Prince Edward Island Author November 30, 1874   Today is the birthday of the Canadian writer and author of the Anne of Green Gables series Lucy Maud Montgomery. Lucy was born on Prince Edward Island, and she was almost two years old when her mother died. Like her character Ann of Green Gables, Lucy…

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Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens November 27, 1959   On this day, the Edmonton Journal wrote a little article about the Bicentenary at Kew: “Less than ten miles from the heart of London lies an area of nearly three hundred acres in which color, fragrance, and birdsong are the companions of research, learning, and economics. Here…

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Ruth Myrtle Patrick

Ruth Myrtle Patrick

A Window to a Whole Other World November 26, 1907   Today is the birthday of the botanist Ruth Myrtle Patrick. Ruth developed new methods for measuring the health of freshwater ecosystems. Today, the Patrick Principle measures the biological diversity of a stream; the greater the diversity, the greater the health of the water. Ruth…

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Alma Gluck

Alma Gluck

“Miss Gluck is Quite a Farmer” November 25, 1914   On this day, the St. Joseph Gazette wrote a front-page article about the  Romanian-born American soprano Alma Gluck and the headline was “Miss Gluck is Quite a Farmer.” “One would scarcely expect a young and beautiful prima donna who… is recognized the world over as…

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The New England Farmer

The New England Farmer

A Collection of News The New England Farmer shared a little post of miscellaneous news at the end of 1843 that caught my eye: Mosquitoes in November. The New Orleans Diamond, of Nov. 24th, says, “As we write, myriads of mosquitoes are hovering around us, like evil messengers. Think of that, ye frozen dwellers at…

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Jay Harper

Jay Harper

Tips and Tricks for Poinsettias November 23, 2005  On this day, the Arizona Republic newspaper shared tips on Poinsettia care from Jay Harper of Harper’s Nurseries & Flower Shop. Jay grows Poinsettias from cuttings in his nursery in Mesa. He advised: Important factors in selecting a Poinsettia are where it was grown and how long…

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Lespedeza

Lespedeza

An Error in Names November 20, 1933   On this day, the Knoxville Journal shared a story called “Department Botanists Agree Too Late to Change – Lespedeza was named in Error.” Lespedeza (pronounced “Les-pah-dee-zah”) is a genus of around 40 species of flowering plants in the pea family, commonly known as bush clovers. The article…

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Roger Williams

Roger Williams

Autumn Leaves November 19, 1955 On this day, Autumn Leaves by Roger Williams reached the top spot on the music charts. Autumn Leaves was Roger’s most successful song and the first instrumental song to reach number 1 on the Billboard charts during the rock era. As a performer, Roger Williams was less flamboyant than Liberace. He was,…

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Asa Gray

Asa Gray

A Letter from a Friend November 18, 1881 On this day, Asa Gray received a letter from his botanical friend and colleague George Engelmann. Asa wrote him back in December: “My dear old Friend, It is shabby of me to wait so long in response to your kindly greetings, which were dated on my birthday,…

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Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

A Royal of Many Loves November 17, 1818  Today is the anniversary of the death of the woman who was a patroness of the arts, an amateur botanist, a champion of Kew Gardens, and the wife of George III, Queen Charlotte. In addition to the astounding fact that Charlotte gave birth to 15 children, she…

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Elizabeth Fox

Elizabeth Fox

Baroness Holland November 16, 1845   Today is the anniversary of the death of the English political hostess and flower lover Elizabeth Fox, also known as Baroness Holland. When she was 15, Elizabeth married Sir Godfrey Webster, who was 20 years her senior. After having five children in six years, Elizabeth began an affair with a…

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