John Muir 1966 Yosemite Anniversary Cover
The text reads:
A Philatelic Tribute to
Led the Establishment of Yosemite National Park
September 25, 1890
Yosemite National Park, California
John Muir (1838-1914) was a world renowned naturalist, conservationist, explorer, and writer.
The legacy of his life work of preserving and protecting our natural heritage will be shared by Americans for centuries to come.
A native of Dunbar, Scotland, Muir came to America in 1849. Growing up on a farm in Wisconsin, he developed a love and respect for Nature. This led him to study botany at the University of Wisconsin, and to travel on foot through the Middle West and into Canada. His most arduous trek, chronicled in detail in his journals, was from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1868, Muir arrived in Yosemite Valley, California, where he stayed for six years. He described the area as 'the grand side of the mountain," and was the first to explain the Yosemite Valley's glacial origins. He also studied horticulture and became a successful California fruit rancher. At the age of 43, having earned enough money to provide for his family, he retired from business to devote his life to travel and study.
For the next 23 years, John Muir studied glaciers and forests in the United States, Alaska, Australia, Africa, and South America. He mounted a campaign to prevent the wanton destruction of forests, which influenced Congress to establish both Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park in 1890. His reputation was further enhanced by frequent articles in such magazines as Century, Scribner's Monthly, Harper's Weekly, and the Atlantic Monthly. He often took the writers and editors with him on his trips, winning their support for his conservation ideas. His most famous companion on his treks was President Theodore Roosevelt. The result was the acquisition and protection of 148 million acres of forest land, the establishment of 16 national monuments, and the doubling of the number of national parks during Roosevelt's administration.
In 1892, Muir founded the Sierra Club, which continues to carry on his conservation work. A glacier he discovered in Alaska now bears his name and, in 1908, Muir Woods National Monument, a redwood forest near San Francisco, was set aside and named in his honor.
The stamp on this Cover, featuring a portrait of John Muir and the California redwoods he fought to save, was issued in 1964. The Cover was postmarked on September 25, the exact date on which Yosemite National Park was established.
© Postal Commemorative Society
Muir has subsequently been honored with a 32 cent postage stamp in 1998.
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