John Muir 1964 Maximum Card - - Biography
This maximum card, postmarked on April 29, 1964, the first day of issue for the release of the 1964 John Muir commemorative postage stamp, features a brief biography of John Muir.
The text reads:
"The year 1838 saw the birth of John Muir in Dunbar, Scotland. Eleven years later, young Muir and his family came to America and the backwoods farm area near Portage, Wisconsin. John's farm work saw him clearing the land and plowing the newly-cleared fields in order to plant the crops. All during these adventures, young Muir was deeply conscious of Mother Nature and her wonderful gifts of land and wild life. In his formative years, he was an avid reader. Like another great American, Abraham Lincoln, John Muir borrowed and digested the contents of every book to be found on the frontier. It was not uncommon for him to be reading in the very early hours of the morning before the sun was up and his work day started.
He entered the University of Wisconsin where he studied botany, chemistry and other sciences. When he left the school in 1864, he is reported to have told friends "I am leaving the Wisconsin University for the University of the Wilderness." An accident nearly caused the loss of his sight and he decided to swallow as much of "God's beauty" as he could cram into his remaining years. His travels, many on foot, took him to Panama, California, north to Alaska, as well as to Europe, Asia and Africa. His six years of solitary living in the Yosemite Valley gave him a deep insight and love for the glaciers and forests of the Sierra Nevadas.
Following his marriage to Louie Wanda Strentzel in 1880, he lived on his California fruit ranch. His ventures there brought financial success and he was able to travel and write. He was a hiking friend of President Theodore Roosevelt and his love of nature and persuasive powers enabled him to convince the chief executive that one hundred forty-eight million acres of forest reserves be set aside as national forests. He saved California's giant sequoias from the lumber mill. Yosemite Valley became a national park through is efforts. Muir Woods, a redwood forest, was named after him in 1908.
John Muir loved nature. His writings on the subject are many. He died in 1914. In 1964, the United States Post Office Department honored John Muir with a five cent commemorative postage stamp in his memory. The first day sale was held at Martinez, California."
Chicago Historical Society Photo"
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