Today is Arbor Day, the only legal holiday in the United States to have its origin in Nebraska.
As a result, Nebraska state government and county offices are closed.
Many cities also observe the holiday, but most schools have classes as usual. The Chadron City Transit Bus, formerly the Handi-Bus, isn’t running today because of the holiday.
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 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.