John Muir Day

John Muir Day is celebrated annually on 21 April. It was proclaimed in 1988 on the 150th anniversary of the birth of American naturalist, conservationist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, author, and pioneering advocate John Muir who was born 21 April 1838 in Dunbar, Mid Lothian, Scotland. As a young boy, Muir became fascinated with the East Lothian landscape, and spent a lot of time wandering the local coastline and countryside. It was during this time that he became interested in natural history and the works of Scottish naturalist Alexander Wilson.

In 1849, Muir’s family immigrated to the United States, starting a farm near Portage, Wisconsin, called Fountain Lake Farm. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark. When he was 22 years old, Muir enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, paying his own way for several years. There, under a towering black locust tree beside North Hall. As a freshman, Muir studied chemistry with Professor Ezra Carr and his wife Jeanne; they became lifelong friends and Muir developed a lasting interest in chemistry and the sciences. and, even though he never graduated, he learned enough geology and botany To understand the processes. In 1863, his brother Daniel left Wisconsin and moved to Southern Ontario (then known as Canada West in the United Canadas), to avoid the draft during the U.S. Civil War. Muir left school and travelled to the same region in 1864, and spent the spring, summer, and fall exploring the woods and swamps, and collecting plants around the southern reaches of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. Muir hiked along the Niagara Escarpment, including much of today’s Bruce Trail. With his money running low and winter coming, he reunited with his brother Daniel near Meaford, Ontario, who persuaded him to work with him at the sawmill and rake factory of William Trout and Charles Jay. Muir lived with the Trout family in an area called Trout Hollow, south of Meaford, on the Bighead River. While there, he continued exploring the escarpment and bogs, collecting and cataloging plants. In March 1866, Muir returned to the United States, settling in Indianapolis to work in a wagon wheel factory. He proved valuable to his employers because of his inventiveness in improving the machines and processes; he was promoted to supervisor, being paid $25 per week. However In early-March 1867, an accident changed the course of his life and he decided to “be true to himself and follow his dream of exploration and study of plants.

So in 1867, Muir undertook a walk of about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from Kentucky to Florida. When Muir arrived at Cedar Keys, he began working for Richard Hodgson at Hodgson’s sawmill, where he contracted Malaria and almost died. In 1868, Muir went to Cuba and while in Havana, he spent his hours studying shells and flowers and visiting the botanical garden in the city.Afterwards, he sailed to New York City and booked passage to California. Muir served as an officer in the United States Coast Survey. After returning Muir moved to San Francisco, and went on a week-long visit to Yosemite. Where Muir built a small cabin along Yosemite Creek, designing it so that a section of the stream flowed through a corner of the room so he could enjoy the sound of running water. He lived in the cabin for two years and published a book “First Summer in the Sierra”. He also married Louisa Strentzel and went into business for 10 years with his father-in-law managing the orchards on the family 2600 acre farm near Oakland.

John and Louisa had two daughters. He was sustained by the natural environment and by reading the essays of naturalist author Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1871, after Muir had lived in Yosemite for three years, Emerson, with a number of academic friends from Boston, arrived in Yosemite during a tour of the Western United States. The two men met, and Emerson was delighted to find at the end of his career the prophet-naturalist he had called for so long ago. Emerson spent one day with Muir, and offered him a teaching position at Harvard. Muir Pursuit of his interest of science, especially geology, and became convinced that glaciers had sculpted many of the features of the Yosemite Valley and surrounding area. This notion was in stark contradiction to the accepted contemporary theory, promulgated by Josiah Whitney (head of the California Geological Survey), which attributed the formation of the valley to a catastrophic earthquake. In 1871, Muir discovered an active alpine glacier below Merced Peak, which helped his theories gain acceptance. Then in 1872 A large earthquake centered near Lone Pine in Owens Valley shook occupants of Yosemite Valley. In addition to his geologic studies, Muir also investigated the plant life of the Yosemite area. In 1873 and 1874, he made field studies along the western flank of the Sierra on the distribution and ecology of isolated groves of Giant Sequoia. In 1876, the American Association for the Advancement of Science published Muir’s paper on the subject.

Muir made four trips to Alaska, as far as Unalaska and Barrow.[ Muir, Mr Young (Fort Wrangell missionary) and a group of Native American Guides first traveled to Alaska in 1879 and were the first Euro-Americans to explore Glacier Bay. Muir Glacier was later named after him. He traveled into British Columbia a third of the way up the Stikine River, likening its Grand Canyon to “a Yosemite that was a hundred miles long”. Muir recorded over 300 glaciers along the river’s course. He returned for further explorations in southeast Alaska in 1880 and in 1881 was with the party that landed on Wrangel Island on the USS Corwin and claimed that island for the United States. He documented this experience in his book The Cruise of the Corwin.

In 1888 after seven years of managing the Strentzel fruit ranch in Alhambra Valley, California, his health began to suffer. He returned to the hills to recover, climbing Mount Rainier in Washington and writing Ascent of Mount Rainier. Muir threw himself into the preservationist role with great vigor. He envisioned the Yosemite area and the Sierra as pristine lands. He thought the greatest threat to the Yosemite area and the Sierra was domesticated livestock

In June 1889, the influential associate editor of The Century magazine, Robert Underwood Johnson, camped with Muir in Tuolumne Meadows and saw firsthand the damage caused. Johnson agreed to publish any article Muir wrote on the subject of excluding livestock from the Sierra high country. He also agreed to use his influence to introduce a bill to Congress to make the Yosemite area into a national park, modeled after Yellowstone National Park. In1890, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that essentially followed recommendations that Muir had suggested in “The Treasures of the Yosemite” and “Features of the Proposed National Park”. however the bill left Yosemite Valley under state control.

In 1892, Professor Henry Senger, a philologist at the University of California, Berkeley, contacted Muir with the idea of forming a local ‘alpine club’ for mountain lovers. Senger together with San Francisco attorney Warren Olney and the first meeting of the Sierra Club was held June, 1892 Muir was elected president, Warren Olney was elected vice-president, and a board of directors was chosen that included David Starr Jordan, president of the new Stanford University. Muir remained president until his death. The Sierra Club immediately opposed efforts to reduce Yosemite National Park by half, and began holding educational and scientific meetings. At one meeting the Sierra Club discussed the idea of establishing ‘national forest reservations’, which were later called National Forests. The Sierra Club was active in the successful campaign to transfer Yosemite National Park from state to federal control.

In July 1896, Muir became associated with Gifford Pinchot, a national leader in the conservation movement. Pinchot was the first head of the United States Forest Service and a leading spokesman for the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of the people. However His views eventually clashed with Muir’s and highlighted two diverging views of the use of the country’s natural resources. Pinchot saw conservation as a means of managing the nation’s natural resources for long-term sustainable commercial use. As a professional forester, his view was that “forestry is tree farming,” without destroying the long-term viability of the forests. Whereas Muir valued nature for its spiritual and transcendental qualities. In one essay about the National Parks, he referred to them as “places for rest, inspiration, and prayers.” He often encouraged city dwellers to experience nature for its spiritual nourishment. Both men opposed reckless exploitation of natural resources, including clear-cutting of forests. Even Muir acknowledged the need for timber and the forests to provide it, but Pinchot’s view of wilderness management was more resource-oriented. The final straw came in 1897 when Pinchot released a statement to a Seattle newspaper supporting sheep grazing in forest reserves. Muir confronted Pinchot

This philosophical divide soon expanded and split the conservation movement into two camps: the preservationists, led by Muir; and Pinchot’s camp, who co-opted the term “conservation.” The two men debated their positions in popular magazines, such as Outlook, Harper’s Weekly, Atlantic Monthly, World’s Work, and Century. Their contrasting views were highlighted again when the United States was deciding whether to dam Hetch Hetchy Valley. Pinchot favored damming the valley as “the highest possible use which could be made of it.” In contrast, Muir proclaimed, “Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the hearts of man.”

In 1899, Muir accompanied railroad executive E. H. Harriman and esteemed scientists on the famous exploratory voyage along the Alaska coast aboard the luxuriously refitted 250-foot (76 m) steamer, the George W. Elder. He later relied on his friendship with Harriman to pressure Congress to pass conservation legislation. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt accompanied Muir on a visit to Yosemite. Muir joined Roosevelt in Oakland, California, for the train trip to Raymond. Muir told the president about state mismanagement of the valley and rampant exploitation of the valley’s resources and was able to convince Roosevelt that the best way to protect the valley was through federal control and management. After seeing the magnificent splendor of the valley, the president asked Muir to show him the real Yosemite. So Muir and Roosevelt camped out which had a profound effect on both men. Muir then increased efforts by the Sierra Club to consolidate park management. In 1906 Congress transferred the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley to the park.

Muir’s attitude toward Native Americans also evolved over his life. His earliest encounters, during his childhood in Wisconsin, were with Winnebago Indians, who begged for food and stole his favorite horse. In spite of that, he had a great deal of sympathy for their “being robbed of their lands and pushed ruthlessly back into narrower and narrower limits by alien races who were cutting off their means of livelihood.” His early encounters with the Paiute in California left him feeling ambivalent after seeing their lifestyle, which he described as “lazy” and “superstitious”.  Later, after living with Indians, he praised and grew more respectful of their low impact on the wilderness, compared to the heavy impact by European-Americans. Muir was given the Stickeen (Muir’s spelling, coastal tribe) name “Ancoutahan” meaning “adopted chief”.

With population growth continuing in San Francisco, political pressure increased to dam the Tuolumne River for use as a water reservoir. Muir passionately opposed the damming of Hetch Hetchy Valley because he found Hetch Hetchy as stunning as Yosemite Valley. So in 1906 the Sierra Club Fought to preserve Hetch Hetchy Valley, with some prominent San Francisco members opposing the fight. Eventually a vote was held that overwhelmingly put the Sierra Club behind the opposition to Hetch Hetchy Dam. Muir wrote to President Roosevelt pleading for him to scuttle the project. Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, suspended the Interior Department’s approval for the Hetch Hetchy right-of-way. After years of national debate, Taft’s successor Woodrow Wilson signed the bill authorizing the dam into law on December 19, 1913. Muir felt a great loss from the destruction of the valley, his last major battle.

During his life, Muir published six volumes of writings, all describing explorations of natural settings. Four additional books were published posthumously. Several books were subsequently published that collected essays and articles from various sources. Miller writes that what was most important about his writings was not their quantity, but their “quality”. He notes that they have had a “lasting effect on American culture in helping to create the desire and will to protect and preserve wild and natural environments.”

His first appearance in print was by accident, writes Miller; a person he did not know submitted, without his permission or awareness, a personal letter to his friend Jeanne Carr, describing Calypso borealis, a rare flower he had encountered. The piece was published anonymously, identified as having been written by an “inspired pilgrim”. Throughout his many years as a nature writer, Muir frequently rewrote and expanded on earlier writings from his journals, as well as articles published in magazines. He often compiled and organized such earlier writings as collections of essays or included them as part of narrative books.

Muir’s friendship with Jeanne Carr had a lifelong influence on his career as a naturalist and writer. They first met in the fall of 1860, when, at age 22, he entered a number of his homemade inventions in the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society Fair. Carr, a fair assistant, was asked by fair officials to review Muir’s exhibits to see if they had merit. She thought they did and “saw in his entries evidence of genius worthy of special recognition,” notes Miller.[20]:33 As a result, Muir received a diploma and a monetary award for his handmade clocks and thermometer.[54]:1 During the next three years while a student at the University of Wisconsin, he was befriended by Carr and her husband, Ezra, a professor at the same university. According to Muir biographer Bonnie Johanna Gisel, the Carrs recognized his “pure mind, unsophisticated nature, inherent curiosity, scholarly acumen, and independent thought.” Jeanne Carr, 35 years of age, especially appreciated his youthful individuality, along with his acceptance of “religious truths” that were much like her own.

Muir was often invited to the Carrs’ home; he shared Jeanne’s love of plants. In 1864, he left Wisconsin to begin exploring the Canadian wilderness and, while there, began corresponding with her about his activities. Carr wrote Muir in return and encouraged him in his explorations and writings, eventually having an important influence over his personal goals. At one point she asked Muir to read a book she felt would influence his thinking, Lamartine’s The Stonemason of Saint Point. It was the story of a man whose life she hoped would “metabolize in Muir,” writes Gisel, and “was a projection of the life she envisioned for him.” According to Gisel, the story was about a “poor man with a pure heart,” who found in nature “divine lessons and saw all of God’s creatures interconnected.”[54]:3

After Muir returned to the United States, he spent the next four years exploring Yosemite, while at the same time writing articles for publication. During those years, Muir and Carr continued corresponding. She sent many of her friends to Yosemite to meet Muir and “to hear him preach the gospel of the mountains,” writes Gisel. The most notable was naturalist and author Ralph Waldo Emerson. The importance of Carr, who continually gave Muir reassurance and inspiration, “cannot be overestimated,” adds Gisel. It was “through his letters to her that he developed a voice and purpose.” She also tried to promote Muir’s writings by submitting his letters to a monthly magazine for publication. Muir came to trust Carr as his “spiritual mother,” and they remained friends for 30 years.[54]:6 In one letter she wrote to Muir while he was living in Yosemite, she tried to keep him from despairing as to his purpose in life.[54]:43

The value of their friendship was first disclosed by a friend of Carr’s, clergyman and writer G. Wharton James. After obtaining copies of their private letters from Carr, and despite pleadings from Muir to return them, he instead published articles about their friendship, using those letters as a primary source. In one such article, his focus was Muir’s debt to Carr, stating that she was his “guiding star” who “led him into the noble paths of life, and then kept him there.”

Muir’s friend, zoologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, writes that Muir’s style of writing did not come to him easily, but only with intense effort. “Daily he rose at 4:30 o’clock, and after a simple cup of coffee labored incessantly. … he groans over his labors, he writes and rewrites and interpolates.” Osborn notes that he preferred using the simplest English language, and therefore admired above all the writings of Carlyle, Emerson and Thoreau. “He is a very firm believer in Thoreau and starts by reading deeply of this author.”[56]:29 His secretary, Marion Randall Parsons, also noted that “composition was always slow and laborious for him. … Each sentence, each phrase, each word, underwent his critical scrutiny, not once but twenty times before he was satisfied to let it stand.” Muir often told her, “This business of writing books is a long, tiresome, endless job.”[56]:33

Miller speculates that Muir recycled his earlier writings partly due to his “dislike of the writing process.” He adds that Muir “did not enjoy the work, finding it difficult and tedious.” He was generally unsatisfied with the finished result, finding prose “a weak instrument for the reality he wished to convey.” However, he was prodded by friends and his wife to keep writing and as a result of their influence he kept at it, although never satisfied. Muir wrote in 1872, “No amount of word-making will ever make a single soul to ‘know’ these mountains. One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.” In one of his essays, he gave an example of the deficiencies of writing versus experiencing nature.

Muir believed that to discover truth, he must turn to what he believed were the most accurate sources. Muir had a strict, Scottish Presbyterian upbringing. In his book, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), he writes that during his childhood, his father made him read the Bible every day. Muir eventually memorized three-quarters of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament Muir’s father read Josephus’s War of the Jews to understand the culture of first-century Palestine, as it was written by an eyewitness, and illuminated the culture during the period of the New Testament.[59]:43 But as Muir became attached to the American natural landscapes he explored, Williams notes that he began to see another “primary source for understanding God: the Book of Nature.” According to Williams, in nature, especially in the wilderness, Muir was able to study the plants and animals in an environment that he believed “came straight from the hand of God, uncorrupted by civilization and domestication.”, Muir’s belief in this “Book of Nature” compelled him to tell the story of “this creation in words any reader could understand.” As a result, his writings were to become “prophecy, for they sought to change our angle of vision.”

Williams notes that Muir’s philosophy and world view rotated around his perceived dichotomy between civilization and nature. From this developed his core belief that “wild is superior”. His nature writings became a “synthesis of natural theology” with scripture that helped him understand the origins of the natural world. According to Williams, philosophers and theologians such as Thomas Dick suggested that the “best place to discover the true attributes of deity was in Nature.” He came to believe that God was always active in the creation of life and thereby kept the natural order of the world.As a result, Muir “styled himself as a John the Baptist,”  Muir saw nature as a great teacher, and this belief became the central theme of his later journeys and the “subtext” of his nature writing. During his career as writer and while living in the mountains, Muir continued to experience the “presence of the divine in nature”

During his first summer in the Sierra as a shepherd, Muir wrote field notes that emphasized the role that the senses play in human perceptions of the environment. According to Williams, he speculated that the world was an unchanging entity that was interpreted by the brain through the senses, and, writes Muir, “If the creator were to bestow a new set of senses upon us … we would never doubt that we were in another world While doing his studies of nature, he would try to remember everything he observed as if his senses were recording the impressions, until he could write them in his journal. As a result of his intense desire to remember facts, he filled his field journals with notes on precipitation, temperature, and even cloud formations.[59]:45

However, Muir took his journal entries further than recording factual observations. Williams notes that the observations he recorded amounted to a description of “the sublimity of Nature,” and what amounted to “an aesthetic and spiritual notebook.” Muir felt that his task was more than just recording “phenomena,” but also to “illuminate the spiritual implications of those phenomena,” writes Williams. For Muir, mountain skies, for example, seemed painted with light, and came to “… symbolize divinity.” He often described his observations in terms of light.

Muir biographer Steven Holmes notes that Muir used words like “glory” and “glorious” to suggest that light was taking on a religious dimension: “It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the notion of glory in Muir’s published writings, where no other single image carries more emotional or religious weight,”[10]:178 adding that his words “exactly parallels its Hebraic origins,” in which biblical writings often indicate a divine presence with light, as in the burning bush or pillar of fire, and described as “the glory of God.

Muir often used the term “home” as a metaphor for both nature and his general attitude toward the “natural world itself,” notes Holmes. He often used domestic language to describe his scientific observations, as when he saw nature as providing a home for even the smallest plant life: “the little purple plant, tended by its Maker, closed its petals, crouched low in its crevice of a home, and enjoyed the storm in safety.”[60]:57 Muir also saw nature as his own home, as when he wrote friends and described the Sierra as “God’s mountain mansion.” He considered not only the mountains as home, however, as he also felt a closeness even to the smallest objects: “The very stones seem talkative, sympathetic, brotherly. No wonder when we consider that we all have the same Father and Mother.”

In his later years, he used the metaphor of nature as home in his writings to promote wilderness preservation. However Muir’s deep-seated feeling about nature as being his true home led to tension with his family at his home in Martinez, California. He once told a visitor to his ranch there, “This is a good place to be housed in during stormy weather, … to write in, and to raise children in, but it is not my home. Up there,” pointing towards the Sierra Nevada, “is my home.

His letters, essays, and books describing his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada, have been read by millions. His activism has helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and many other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he co-founded, is a prominent American conservation organization. In his later life, Muir devoted most of his time to the preservation of the Western forests. As part of the campaign to make Yosemite a national park, Muir published two landmark articles on wilderness preservation in The Century Magazine, “The Treasures of the Yosemite” and “Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park”; this helped support the push for U.S. Congress to pass a bill in 1890 establishing Yosemite National Park. The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings has inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas.

John Muir has been considered “an inspiration to both Scots and Americans”. Muir’s biographer, Steven J. Holmes, believes that Muir has become “one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity,” both political and recreational. As a result, his writings are commonly discussed in books and journals, and he is often quoted by nature photographers such as Ansel Adams. “Muir has profoundly shaped the very categories through which Americans understand and envision their relationships with the natural world,” writes Holmes.

John Muir died at California Hospital (now California Hospital Medical Center)  in Los Angeles on December 24, 1914, of pneumonia at age 76, after a brief visit to Daggett, California, to see his daughter Helen Muir Funk. His grandson Ross Hanna lived until 2014, when he died at age 91. Muir was noted for being an ecological thinker, political spokesman, and religious prophet, whose writings became a personal guide into nature for countless individuals, making his name “almost ubiquitous” in the modern environmental consciousness and exemplified “the archetype of our oneness with the earth”. Muir has been called the “patron saint of the American wilderness” and its “archetypal free spirit.” As a dreamer and activist, his eloquent words changed the way Americans saw their mountains, forests, seashores, and deserts. Muir also tried to save the American soul from total surrender to materialism and campaigned for wilderness preservation in the U.S. as well as co-founding the Sierra Club. He wrote over 300 magazine and newspaper articles and 12 books, including The Yosemite; Our National Parks; and Rediscovering America. The first ever John Muir Day was celebrated in Scotland on 21 April 2013, to coincide with the 175th anniversary of his birth. During his lifetime John Muir published over 300 articles and 12 books. He co-founded the Sierra Club, which helped establish a number of national parks after he died. Today the club has over 2.4 million members.

Kindergarten Day

Kindergarten Day takes place on 21 April to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of young German teacher Friedrich Wilhelm Frobel who was born 21 April 1782 In Oberweißbach in the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in Thuringia. A cousin of his was the mother of Henriette Schrader-Breymann, and Henriette became a student of his. Fröbel’s father, who died in 1802, was the pastor of the orthodox Lutheran (alt-lutherisch) parish there. The church and Lutheran Christian faith were pillars in Fröbel’s own early education.

Oberweißbach was a wealthy village in the Thuringian Forest and had been known centuries long for its natural herb remedies, tinctures, bitters, soaps and salves. Families had their own inherited areas of the forest where herbs and roots were grown and harvested. Each family prepared, bottled, and produced their individual products which were taken throughout Europe on trade routes passed from father to son, who were affectionately called Buckelapotheker or “Rucksack Pharmacists”. They adorned the church with art acquired from their travels, many pieces of which can still be seen in the renovated structure. The pulpit from which Fröbel heard his father preach is the largest in all Europe and can accommodate a pastor and 12 people, a direct reference to Christ’s apostles.

Shortly after Fröbel’s birth, his mother’s health began to fail. She died when he was nine months old, profoundly influencing his life. In 1792, Fröbel went to live in the small town of Stadt-Ilm with his uncle, a gentle and affectionate man. At the age of 15 Fröbel, who loved nature, became the apprentice to a forester. In 1799, he decided to leave his apprenticeship and study mathematics and botany in Jena. From 1802 to 1805, he worked as a land surveyor. On 11 September 1818, Fröbel wed Wilhelmine Henriette Hoffmeister (b. 1780) in Berlin. The union was childless. Wilhelmine died in 1839, and Fröbel married again in 1851. His second wife was Louise Levin.

Fröbel had an interest in nature and in education He began as an educator in 1805 at the Musterschule (a secondary school) in Frankfurt, where he learned about Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi’s ideas. He later worked with Pestalozzi in Switzerland, where his ideas further developed. From 1806, Fröbel was the live-in teacher for a Frankfurt noble family’s three sons. He lived with the three children from 1808 to 1810 at Pestalozzi’s institute in Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland.

In 1811, Fröbel once again went back to school in Göttingen and Berlin, eventually leaving without earning a certificate. He became a teacher at the Plamannsche Schule in Berlin, a boarding school for boys, and at that time also a pedagogical and patriotic centre. During his service in the Lützow Free Corps in 1813 and 1814 – when he was involved in two military campaigns against Napoleon – Fröbel befriended Wilhelm Middendorf, a theologian and fellow pedagogue, and Heinrich Langethal, also a pedagogue. After Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna Fröbel became an assistant at the Museum of Mineralogy under Christian Samuel Weiss during 1814–1816, studying and cataloging mineral crystals and became fascinated with their structure.

In 1816, he was offered a professorship in Stockholm, but he turned it down and instead founded the Allgemeine Deutsche Erziehungsanstalt (German General Education Institute) in Griesheim near Arnstadt in Thuringia. A year later, he moved the school to Keilhau near Rudolstadt. In 1831, work would be continued there by the other cofounders Wilhelm Middendorf and Heinrich Langethal.

Between 1820, and 1823 Fröbel published five Keilhau pamphlets, beginning with An unser deutsches Volk (“To Our German People”). Then In 1826 he published his main written work, Die Menschenerziehung (“The Education of Man”) and founded the weekly publication Die erziehenden Familien (“The Educating Families”). In 1828 and 1829 he pursued plans for a people’s education institute (Volkserziehungsanstalt) in Helba (nowadays a constituent community of Meiningen).

Between 1831 and 1836, Fröbel lived in Switzerland. In 1831 he founded an educational institute in Wartensee (Lucerne). In 1833 he moved this to Willisau, and from 1835 to 1836, he headed the orphanage in Burgdorf (Berne), where he also published the magazine Grundzüge der Menschenerziehung (Features of Human Education). He returned to Germany, dedicated himself almost exclusively to preschool child education and began manufacturing playing materials in Bad Blankenburg. In 1836 he published his work Erneuerung des Lebens erfordert das neue Jahr 1836 (The New Year 1836 Calls For the Renewal of Life). In 1837 he founded a care, playing and activity institute for small children in Bad Blankenburg. From 1838 to 1840 he also published the magazine Ein Sonntagsblatt für Gleichgesinnte (A Sunday Paper for the Like-Minded).

In 1840 he coined the word kindergarten for the Play and Activity Institute he had founded in 1837 at Bad Blankenburg for young children, together with Wilhelm Middendorf and Heinrich Langethal. These two men were Fröbel’s most faithful colleagues when his ideas were also transplanted to Keilhau near Rudolstadt. He designed the educational play materials known as Froebel Gifts, or Fröbelgaben, which included geometric building blocks and pattern activity blocks. A book entitled Inventing Kindergarten, by Norman Brosterman, examines the influence of Friedrich Fröbel on Frank Lloyd Wright and modern art.

Friedrich Fröbel’s great insight was to recognise the importance of the activity of the child in learning. He introduced the concept of “free work” (Freiarbeit) into pedagogy and established the “game” as the typical form that life took in childhood, and also the game’s educational worth. Activities in the first kindergarten included singing, dancing, gardening, and self-directed play with the Froebel Gifts. Fröbel intended, with his Mutter- und Koselieder – a songbook that he published – to introduce the young child into the adult world.

These ideas about childhood development and education were introduced to academic and royal circles through the tireless efforts of his greatest proponent, the Baroness (Freiherrin) Bertha Marie von Marenholtz-Bülow. Through her Fröbel made the acquaintance of the Royal House of the Netherlands, various Thuringian dukes and duchesses, including the Romanov wife of the Grand Duke von Sachsen-Weimar. Baroness von Marenholtz-Bülow, Duke von Meiningen and Fröbel gathered donations to support art education for children in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Goethe. The Duke of Meiningen granted the use of his hunting lodge, called Marienthal (Vale of Mary) in the resort town of Bad Liebenstein for Fröbel to train the first women as Kindergarten teachers (Kindergärtnerinnen).

However the education ministry of the Prussian government banned kindergartens on 7 August 1851 as “atheistic and demagogic” for their alleged “destructive tendencies in the areas of religion and politics”. Nevertheless Fröbel’s idea of the kindergarten had found appeal. The ban may have been a confusion
Between Friedrich and his nephew Karl Fröbel.” Who wrote and published an inflammatory book entitled Weibliche Hochschulen und Kindergärten (“Female Colleges and Kindergartens”), which apparently met with some disapproval. To quote Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, “The stupid minister (Karl Otto) von Raumer has decreed a ban on kindergartens, basing himself on a book by Karl Fröbel.

The sudden ban dismayed Fröbel, who died on 21 June 1852 in Marienthal, now a constituent community of Schweina. Nevertheless this meant that many teachers from Germany, spread their ideas to other countries instead. Fröbel’s student Margarethe Schurz founded the first kindergarten in the United States at Watertown, Wisconsin in 1856; instruction was in the German language, to serve the immigrant community there. She inspired Elizabeth Peabody, who went on to found the first English-language kindergarten in the United States, in Boston in 1860. The German émigré Adolph Douai had also founded a kindergarten in Boston in 1859, but had to close it after only a year. By 1866, however, he was founding others in New York City.

Prince

Prolific American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor Prince Rogers Nelson Sadly died at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, on April 21, 2016 after suffering flu-like symptoms for several weeks. He was Born June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and his family ancestry is centered in Louisiana, Prince’s father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer. Prince was named after his father, whose stage name was Prince Rogers, and who performed with a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. Prince developed a keen interest in music, and this was encouraged by his Father Prince wrote his first tune, “Funk Machine”, on his father’s piano when he was seven. When Prince was ten years old, his parents separated. Prince constantly switched homes he befriended Andre Anderson, who later became known as André Cymone. Prince and Anderson joined Prince’s cousin Charles Smith in a band called Grand Central while they were attending Minneapolis’s Central High School. Smith was later replaced by Morris Day on the drums. Prince played piano and guitar for the band, which performed at clubs and parties in the Minneapolis area. Grand Central later changed its name to Champagne and started playing original music influenced by Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Miles Davis, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Todd Rundgren. Prince also played basketball in high school, and continued to play it for recreation as an adult.

In 1975, Pepe Willie, the husband of Prince’s cousin, Shauntel, formed the band 94 East with Marcy Ingvoldstad and Kristie Lazenberry. Willie hired André Cymone and Prince to record tracks with 94 East. Those songs were written by Willie and Prince contributed guitar tracks. Prince also co-wrote, with Willie, the 94 East song, “Just Another Sucker”. The band recorded tracks which later became the album Minneapolis Genius – The Historic 1977 Recordings. Prince also recorded, but never released, a song written by Willie, “If You See Me” (also known as, “Do Yourself a Favor”). In 1976, Prince created a demo tape with producer Chris Moon in Moon’s Minneapolis studio. Subsequently Owen Husney, a Minneapolis businessman signed Prince, at the age of 17, to a management contract and helped Prince create a demo recording at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis using producer/engineer David Z.

In 1978 after recording songs with his cousin’s band 94 East, 19-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album For You. His 1979 album Prince went platinum due to the success of the singles “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, Prince signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. who agreed to give Prince creative control for three albums and ownership of the publishing rights. Prince’s first album, For You, was released in 1978 and included the songs “Soft and Wet” and “Just as Long as We’re Together”. In 1979, Prince created a band that included André Cymone on bass, Dez Dickerson on guitar, Gayle Chapman and Doctor Fink on keyboards, and Bobby Z. on drums. In October 1979, Prince released a self-titled album, Prince, which contained two R&B hits: “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. In 1980, Prince released the album, Dirty Mind, which featured the song”Uptown”,”Head”, “Sister” and “Partyup”. In October 1981, Prince released the album, Controversy and his next album 1999 (1982) incorporated Prince’s trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance, and rock music.

n 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name.Prince also started using abbreviated spelling, such as spelling the words you as U, to as 2, and for as 4, as indicated by the inclusion of the tracks “Jack U Off” and 1999’s Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, which featured ‘Hot Wit U.’

 

 

 

 

 

In 1981, Prince formed a side project band called the Time. The band released four albums between 1981 and 1990, with Prince writing and performing most of the instrumentation and backing vocals. In late 1982, Prince released the double album, “1999,” Which contained the songs 1999, Little Red Corvette” and “Delirious” followed by the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986). After this The Revolution disbanded and Prince released the critically acclaimed double album Sign “O” the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting The New Power Generation band in 1991.

In 1993 He changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol also known as the “Love Symbol” However In 2000, he began referring to himself as “Prince” again. Since then He has released 15 albums, including Plectrum Electrum, 20ten, Art Official Age, HITnRUN Phase One, and HITnRUN phase two. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop. He sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

HM Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was born 21st April 1926. She is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms, and head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations. In her specific role as the monarch of the UnitedKingdom, one of her 16 realms, she is also Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Elizabeth was born in London, and educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne as George VI in 1936 on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII and She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, and also served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. On the death of her father in 1952, she became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Her coronation service in 1953 was the first to be televised. Between 1956 and 1992, many territories gained independence or became republics. Today, Elizabeth is Queen of Jamaica,Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1947 she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. and Her reign of 60 years is the second-longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria has reigned longer. Her Silver and Golden Jubilees were celebrated in 1977 and 2002; her Diamond Jubilee was celebrated 2012.

Elizabeth was the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and his wife, Elizabeth. Her father was the second son of King George V and Queen Mary, and her mother was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Elizabeth’s only sibling was Princess Margaret, born in 1930. As a granddaughter of the monarch in the male line, Elizabeth’s full style at birth was Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth of York. She was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle, Edward, Prince of Wales, and her father. In 1936, when her grandfather, George V, died and her uncle Edward succeeded, she became second in line to the throne after her father. Later that year, Edward abdicated after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth’s father became king, and she became heiress presumptive, with the style Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth. In 1943, at the age of 16, Elizabeth undertook her first solo public appearance on a visit to the Grenadier Guards, of which she had been appointed Colonel-in-Chief the previous year. As she approached her 18th birthday, the law was changed so that she could act as one of five Counsellors of State in the event of her father’s incapacity or absence abroad,

At the end of World war II in Europe, on Victory in Europe Day, Elizabeth and her sister mingled anonymously with the celebratory crowds in the streets of London. She later said in a rare interview, “we asked my parents if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognised … I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.”Two years later, the princess made her first overseas tour, when she accompanied her parents through southern Africa. During the tour, in a broadcast to the British Commonwealth on her 21st birthday, she pledged: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Elizabeth met her future husband, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in 1934 and 1937. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth – though only 13 years old – fell in love with Philip, and they began to exchange letters.They married on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. They are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria. Before the marriage, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, taking the surname of his mother’s British family. Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style of His Royal Highness. Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Prince Charles, on 14 November 1948, A second child, Princess Anne, was born in 1950, Princes Andrew was born in in 1959 and Edward in 1963.

Durind 1952 her Father King George VI’s health unfortunately declined, and Elizabeth was soon frequently standing in for him at public events. In October of that year, she toured Canada, and visited President Truman in Washington, D.C. And on the trip, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, carried a draft accession declaration for use if the King died while she was on tour. In early 1952, Elizabeth and Philip set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand by way of Kenya. On 6 February 1952, they had just returned to their Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge, after a night spent at Treetops Hotel, when word arrived of the death of Elizabeth’s father. Philip broke the news to the new queen. Martin Charteris asked her to choose a regal name; she chose to remain Elizabeth, “of course”. She was proclaimed queen throughout her realms, and the royal party hastily returned to the United Kingdom. She and the Duke of Edinburgh moved into Buckingham Palace.With Elizabeth’s accession it seemed likely that the royal house would bear her husband’s name. Lord Mountbatten thought it would be the House of Mountbatten, as Elizabeth would typically have taken Philip’s last name on marriage; however Elizabeth’s grandmother Queen Mary and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill favoured the retention of the House of Windsor, and so Windsor it remained.

Despite the death of Queen Mary ten weeks before, the coronation went ahead on 2 June 1953. Before she died, Mary had asked that the coronation not be delayed. The ceremony in Westminster Abbey, except the anointing and communion, was televised for the first time, and the coverage was instrumental in boosting the medium’s popularity; the number of television licences in the United Kingdom doubled to 3 million. Elizabeth’s pregnancies with Princes Andrew and Edward in 1959 and 1963, respectively, mark the only times she has not performed the State Opening of the British parliament during her reign. In addition to performing traditional ceremonies, she also instituted new practices such as the Royal Walkabout.

Her first royal walkabout, meeting ordinary members of the public, took place during a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970. In 1977, Elizabeth marked the Silver Jubilee of her accession. Many street parties and other events were held to mark the occasion (I used to have a commemorative mug) Many of which coincided with the Queens Associated National and Commonwealth tours and These celebrations re-affirmed the Queen’s ongoing popularity She again undertook an extensive tour of her realms, which began in Jamaica in February, As in 1977, there were many street parties and commemorative events, and monuments bult to honour the occasion. A million people attended each day of the three-day main Jubilee celebration in London, and the enthusiasm shown by the public for Elizabeth again re-affirmed her ongoing popularity.

In 2002, Elizabeth marked her Golden Jubilee as queen. Sadly though both Her sister Princess Margaret and mother died in February and March 2002. On 20 March 2008 the Queen also attended the first Maundy service held outside of England and Wales -t the Church of Ireland St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, at the invitation of Irish President Mary McAleese, in May 2011 the Queen made the first state visit to the Republic of Ireland by a British monarch. Elizabeth addressed the United Nations for a second time in 2010, again in her capacity as queen of all her realms and Head of the Commonwealth. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon introduced her as “an anchor for ourage”. During her visit to New York, which followed a tour of Canada, she officially opened a memorial garden n remembrance of the British victims who pershed durng the September 11th attacks on The World Trade Centre.

The Queen visited Australia again in October 2011, her 16th visit since 1954. In 2012 HM Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years as Queen. She is the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, and the second-longest-serving current head of state (after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand). She does not intend to abdicate, though the proportion of public duties performed by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall or Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge may increase as Elizabeth reduces her commitments. She also opened the 2012 Summer Olympics on 27 July 2012 and the Paralympics on 29 August in London.

During her life Queen Elizabeth has held many titles and has witnessed the ongoing transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations. She became the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand to visit those nations. During the tour, crowds were immense; three-quarters of the population of Australia were estimated to have seen the Queen. Since then and Throughout her reign, Elizabeth has undertaken state visits to foreign countries, and tours of Commonwealth ones. She is the most widely travelled head of state in history. She has also received many honours and awards from around the world during her reign, and has held honorary military positions throughout the Commonwealth.

Alistair Maclean

Scottish adventure thriller novelist Alistair Stuart MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacGill-Eain; was born 21 April 1922 in Glasgow. He spent much of his childhood and youth in Daviot, ten miles south of Inverness. He was the third of four sons. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941, serving in World War II with the ranks of Ordinary Seaman, Able Seaman, and Leading Torpedo Operator. He was first assigned to PS Bournemouth Queen, a converted excursion ship fitted for anti-aircraft guns, on duty off the coasts of England and Scotland. Beginning in 1943, he served on HMS Royalist, a Dido-class light cruiser. There he saw action in 1943 in the Atlantic theatre, on two Arctic convoys and escorting carrier groups in operations against Tirpitz and other targets off the Norwegian coast.

In 1944 he and the ship served in the Mediterranean theatre, as part of the invasion of southern France and in helping to sink blockade runners off Crete and bombard Milos in the Aegean. During this time MacLean may have been injured in a gunnery practice accident.In 1945, in the Far East theatre, MacLean and Royalist saw action escorting carrier groups in operations against Japanese targets in Burma, Malaya, and Sumatra. (MacLean’s late-in-life claims that he was captured by the Japanese and tortured have been dismissed by both his son and his biographer as drunken ravings. After the Japanese surrender, Royalist helped evacuate liberated POWs from Changi Prison in Singapore.

MacLean was released from the Royal Navy in 1946. He then studied English at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1953, and then worked as a school teacher in Rutherglen. While a university student, MacLean began writing short stories for extra income, winning a competition in 1954 with the maritime story “Dileas”. The publishing company Collins asked him for a novel and he responded with HMS Ulysses, based on his own war experiences, as well as credited insight from his brother Ian, a Master Mariner. The novel was a great success and MacLean was soon able to devote himself entirely to writing war stories, spy stories and other adventures.

In the early 1960s, Alistair MacLean published two novels under the pseudonym “Ian Stuart” in order to prove that the popularity of his books was due to their content rather than his name on the cover. They sold well, but MacLean made no attempt to change his writing style and his fans may easily have recognized him behind the Scottish pseudonym. He wrote many popular thrillers and adventure stories, the best known being The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra, and Where Eagles Dare MacLean’s books eventually sold so well that he moved to Switzerland as a tax exile. Between 1963–1966, he took a hiatus from writing to run a hotel business in England. MacLean was also awarded a Doctor of Letters by the University of Glasgow in 1983.

Sadly MacLean’s later books were not as well received as the earlier publications and, in an attempt to keep his stories in keeping with the time, he sometimes lapsed into overly improbable plots. Many of McClean’s adventure thrillers have also been made into popular films including Guns of Navrone, Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare. Unfortunately McClean struggled constantly with alcoholism, which eventually brought about his death in Munich on 2 February 1987. He is buried a few yards from Richard Burton in Céligny, Switzerland. He was married twice and had two sons by his first wife, as well as an adopted third son.

Charlotte Brontë

English novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë was Born 21st April 1816 She was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood, whose novels are English literature standards. She wrote Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell. Charlotte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire in 1816, the third of six children. In August 1824, Charlotte was sent with three of her sisters, Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth, to the Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire (Charlotte later used the school as the basis for the fictional Lowood School in Jane Eyre). She and the other surviving children — Branwell, Emily, and Anne – created their own literary fictional worlds, and began chronicling the lives and struggles of the inhabitants of these imaginary kingdoms. Charlotte and Branwell wrote Byronic stories about their imagined country (“Angria”) and Emily and Anne wrote articles and poems about theirs (“Gondal”). The sagas which they created were elaborate and convoluted (and still exist in partial manuscripts) and provided them with an obsessive interest during childhood and early adolescence, which prepared them for their literary vocations in adulthood.

Charlotte continued her education at Roe Head, Mirfield, from 1831 to 32, where she met her lifelong friends and correspondents, Ellen Nussey and Mary Taylor. During this period, she wrote her novella The Green Dwarf (1833) under the name of Wellesley. Charlotte returned to Roe Head as a teacher from 1835 to 1838. In 1839, she took up the first of many positions as governess to various families in Yorkshire, a career she pursued until 1841. In 1842 Charlotte and Emily travelled to Brussels to enroll in a boarding school run by Constantin Heger In return for board and tuition, Charlotte taught English and Emily taught music. Their time at the boarding school was cut short when Elizabeth Branwell, their aunt who joined the family after their mother died Charlotte returned alone to Brussels in January 1843 to take up a teaching post at the boarding school but returned to Haworth in January 1844 and later used her time at the boarding school as the inspiration for some experiences.

In May 1846, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne self-financed the publication of a joint collection of poetry under the assumed names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Charlotte’s first manuscript, called The Professor, did not secure a publisher, although she was heartened by an encouraging response she received from Smith, Elder & Co of Cornhill, who expressed an interest in any longer works which “Currer Bell” might wish to send.Charlotte responded by finishing and sending a second manuscript in August 1847, and six weeks later this second manuscript (titled Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) was published. Jane Eyre was a success, and initially received favourable reviews. It was followed by the subsequent publication of the first novels by Charlotte’s sisters: Emily’s Wuthering Heights and Anne’s Agnes Grey.

In June 1854, Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls, her father’s curate and, in the opinion of many scholars, the model for several of her literary characters such as Jane Eyre’s Edward Rochester and St. John Rivers. She became pregnant soon after the marriage. Her health declined rapidly during this time, and according to Gaskell, her earliest biographer, she was attacked by “sensations of perpetual nausea and ever-recurring faintness.” Charlotte Sadly passed away shortly afterwoods on 31 March 1855, at the young age of 38

Her death certificate gives the cause of death as phthisis (tuberculosis), but many biographers suggest she may have died from dehydration and malnourishment, caused by excessive vomiting from severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum. There is also evidence to suggest that Charlotte died from typhus she may have caught from Tabitha Ackroyd, the Bronte household’s oldest servant, who died shortly before her. Charlotte was interred in the family vault in The Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Haworth, West Yorkshire, England. Her endurng popularty & legacy stll lives on To this day and all Charlotte Bronte’s novels Particularly Jane Eyre, are still as popular as ever. There have also been many Television Radio and Film adaptations of her novels and her classic novel’s are stll widely taught in schools