The Thorndike Oak
On this day in 1802, a 13-year-old boy named George Thorndike planted a tree at Bowdoin College in Maine.
Thorndike was part of the first class at Bowdoin. The grade was made up of 8 boys. Aside from being part of the charter class, Thorndike became a vital part of the college's history.
The story happened after Thorndike attended the very first service at the college chapel. As he was leaving the chapel, he spied a little acorn by the path. Thorndike knew enough about plants and trees to know that the acorn was a little out of place in the pine-laden forest around Bowdoin.
Thorndike planted the acorn, and the following year, it had made enough progress for Thorndike to move the sapling to the college president's garden.
The year George and his class graduated in 1806, they met under the tree to say farewell. The Thorndike Oak became an essential symbol for Bowdoin College and a yearly commencement tradition; students would meet under the Thorndike Oak before the ceremony.