Today is Arbor Day, the only legal holiday in the United States to have its origin in Nebraska. As a result, state government and county offices will be closed. Many cities also observe the holiday, but most schools have classes as usual.
Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1872, the brainchild of J-Sterling Morton, President of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture and later Sec of the Interior.
Morton’s idea was to encourage the planting of trees as a way to “bring new life” to the so-called the Great American Desert – a barren tree-less wasteland.
The result was a million trees planted the first year and inspiration for a holiday now observed in some 50 countries around the world…although not necessarily on the official U-S date of the 4th Friday in April.