Secretary of the Smithsonian
It was on this day in 1972 that the horticulture program at the Smithsonian Gardens was established by Sydney Dylan Ripley, who was the secretary of the Smithsonian.
An American ornithologist and conservationist, as a child, Ripley had been inspired by the area around the Louvre in France. He had hoped to make the Smithsonian a bustling destination with activities for visitors and tourists. The purpose of the establishment of the horticultural services division was to provide landscaping in and around the Smithsonian museums.
In 2010, the horticultural program was renamed the Smithsonian Gardens to recognize the role that the gardens play in the visitor experience.