The Floral Emblem
On this day, the General assembly of Arkansas selected the apple blossom as the floral emblem.
This selection was not without controversy.
The Floral Emblem Society, led by Love Harriett Wilkins Barton, had supported the apple blossom.
The Arkansas Federation of women's clubs wanted the passionflower. The disagreement between the two groups became known as the battle of the blooms.
Love became a one-woman crusader for the apple blossom, writing articles and memos to newspapers - even personally mailing letters to affluent citizens. Whenever she sent anything, she included a promotional pamphlet that she had created praising the apple blossom. In an ingenious move, she not only promoted the apple blossom, but she also dissed the passionflower, saying it was
"as pretty as a non-native of Arkansas," and saying that it would "grow anywhere the farmer's hoe let it."
When the legislature was set to vote, Love appeared at the capital wearing ... wait for it.... a bright apple red dress.
And, she pulled a Martha Stewart and personally gifted every lawmaker with an apple and a note that said,
"These are the results of our beautiful apple blossoms. But, what is the result of a passionflower? A dried, shriveled pod."
Well played, Love.