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SEC. 3. That section 1745 of the Code be amended by adding an additional item at the end of said section, as follows: 12. The number of trees set out and in thrifty condition on each school-house grcupds.
The entire absence of shade trees on many of our school-house sites demonstrates the wisdom of this law. Its provisions should be faithfully observed.
Many districts have planted trees, which, in a few years, will add greatly to the beauty and attractiveness of their grounds; but owing to the fact that so many of our houses are in prairie districts, and entirely destitute of trees, and the further fact that in many instances no attempt has been made to comply with the law, it has seemed necessary to provide some expedient by which a more general fulfillment may be secured.
In furtherance of this aim, and to enhance the interest of the occasion by enlisting the united effort of school officers, teachers and pupils, as well as to strengthen the significance of the work, by uniformity of action, I hereby designate and appoint
WEDNESDAY, MAY 4TH,
as a day to be generally observed, by all the schools of Iowa, as
and suggest that such hours as may be deemed most convenient be set apart for the planting of TREES, together with the rendering of a short program of literary exercises and song, calculated to impress the minds and hearts of the children with feelings of love and veneration for the trees themselves, and doubly endear them by association with the history of some of the good and great ones of the land.
This may be suitably accomplished by naming the trees, and investing them, singly or in groups, with thoughts of the personalities of which they are to be the living emblems.
For instance: History would find fit representation in a Presidents' Group; ” loyalty and patriotism would be kept in mind by a Statesmen's Group," a “Soldier's Group; " then appropriately might be placed an " Authors' Group,” & “ Pioneers' Group,” etc., not to forget the
' “Children's Friends," where many names well-known in the literature of the land would be numbered.
J. W. AKERS,
Superintendent Public Instruction. DES MOINES, April 4, 1887.
ARBOR DAY-HISTORY AND OBSERVANCE.
The honor of originating Arbor Day belongs to ex Governor J.S. Morton. The first observance of the day was in Nebraska, in accordance with proclamation by the Governor. The next year it was established by statutory enactment. Kansas soon followed the example of her sister State.
In 1876 Arbor Day was first observed in Minnesota. Michigan, Ohio, Col
orado, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Indiana, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia have fallen into the observance of Arbor Day, and Connecticut has an Arbor Day set apart by act of legislature.
Horace Mann was born in Franklin, Massachusetts, May 4, 1796. His father was a farmer of limited circumstances, and Horace was obliged to procure an education by his own exertions. In early boyhood he earned his school-books by braiding straw for hats. Through continued habits of industry and perseverance he was able to graduate from Brown University, and afterward studied law and commenced its practice at Dedham.
In this profession he adopted the principle never to take the unjust sido of any cause. His determined honesty of purpose won him the confidence and respect of juries and courts.
In 1827 Mr. Mann was elected to the Massachusetts legislature, where he was distin guished for the zeal with which he devoted himself to the interests of education and temperance. He subsequently served with honor in the Senate of Massachusetts. In 1837, he entered upon the duties of Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, a position he maintained for eleven successive years.
By his lectures and writings he awakened an interest in the cause of education that had never been felt before. Through his influence important changes were made in the school laws of Massachusetts, and a thorough reform wrought in the educational system of the State. This complete organization-as shown in the published reports-furnished an example for the perfection of plans in the formation of the school system of other States.
In 1848, Horace Minn was elected to Congress, and his stirring speeches formed forcible argument against the extension of slavery.
As President of Antioch College, at Yellow Springs, Ohio, from 1852 until his death, which occurred August 2, 1859, this great scholar and heroic philanthropist labored with unsparing zeal to promote the highest growth of the cause of education.
No more fitting close could be made to this brief sketch of America's greatest educator than the parting words found in the last address to his students: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."
It is a noteworthy fact that when Iowa pioneers were framing the structure upon which our boasted free school system rests, they selected Horace Mann as a member of the committee of three from whom they should take counsel and advice. Thus he may—in a certain sense-be considered as one of the founders of our Iowa school system; and as a tribute to his memory and the worth of his deeds, we take pleasure in the recognition of this day -May 4th, the honored anniversary of his birth-as Arbor Day for 1897, and likewise hope that a tree may grow and flourish in every school ground in perpetuation of the gratitude of a people who have been so generously benefited by the seed sown broadcast over the primitive soil.
What conqueror in any part of “life's broad field of battle” could desire a more beautiful, a more noble, or a more patriotic monument than a tree planted by the hands of pure and joyous children, as a memorial of his achievements?
What earnest, honest worker with hand and brain, for the benefit of his fellowmen, could desire a more pleasing recognition of his usefulness than such a monument, a symbol of his or her production, ever growing, over blooming, and ever bearing wholesome fruit?
Trees already grown ancient have been consecrated by the presence of eminent personages or by some conspicuous event in our national history, such as the Elm tree at Philadelphia, at which William Penn made his famous treaty with nineteen tribes of barbarians; the Charter Oak at Hartford, which preserved the written guarantee of the liberties of the Colony of Connecticut; the wide-spreading Oak tree at Flushing, Long Island, under which George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends or Quakers, preached; the lofty Cypress tree in the Dismal Swamp, under which. Washington reposed one night in his young manhood; the huge French Apple tree near Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Little Turtle, the great Miama chief, gathered his warriors; the Elm tree at Cambridge, in the shade of which Washington first took command of the Continental army on a hot summer's day; the Tulip tree on Kings Mountain battlefield, in South Carolina, on which ten bloodthirsty Tories were hung at one time; the tall Pine tree at Fort Edward, New York, under which the beautiful Jane McCrea was slain; the magnificent Black Walnut tree near Haverstraw, on the Hudson, at wbich General Wayne mustered his forces at midnight, preparatory to his gallant and successful attack on Stony Point; the grand Magnolia tree near Charleston, South Carolina, under which General Lincoln held a council of war previous to surrendering the city; the great Pecan tree at Villere's plantation, below New Orleans, under which a portion of the remains of General Peckenham was buried; and the Pear trees planted, respectively, by Governor Edincott, of Massachusetts, and Governor Stuyvesant, of New York, more than two hundred years ago.
These trees all have a place in our national history, and are inseparable from it because they were so consecrated. My eyes have seen all but one of them, and patriotic emotions were excited at the sight How much more significant and suggestive is the dedication of a young tree as a monument.-BENSON J. LOSSING, historian: Extract from letter.
THE CARY TREE-PLANTED BY ALICE AND PIEBE CARY.
In 1832, when Alice was twelve years old, and Phæbe only eight, as these little girls were returning home from school one day, they found a small tree, which a farmer had grubbed up and thrown into the road. One of
them picked it up and said to the other, “ let us plant it.” As soon as said, these happy children ran to the opposite side of the road, and with sticksfor they had no other implement—they dug out the earth, and in the hole thus made they placed the treelet; around it, with their tiny hands, they drew the loosened mold, and pressed it down with their little feet. With what interest they hastened on their way to and from school, to see if it were growing; and how they clapped their little hands for joy when they saw the buds start and the leaves begin to form! With what delight did they watch it grow through the sunny days of summer! With what anxiety did they await its fate through the storms of winter, and when at last the long-looked for spring came, with what feelings of mingled hope and fear did they seek âgain their favorite tree!
But I must not pursue the subject further. It is enough to know that when these two sisters had grown to womanhood, and removed to New York City, they never returned to their old home without paying a visit to the tree that they had planted, and that was scarcely less dear to them than the friends of their childhood days. They planted and cared for it in youth; they loved it in age. The tree is the large and beautiful Sycamore which one sees in passing along the Hamilton turnpike from College Hill to Mt. Pleasant, Hamilton county, Ohio.
I love thee when thy swelling buds appear,
And one by one their tender leaves unfold,
Nor longer sought to hide from Winter's cold ;
To veil from view the early robin's nest,
With limbs by Summer's heat and toil oppress'd;
And round thee lies the smooth, untrodden w,
I love to watch thy shadowy form below,
JONES VERY : "The Tree.'
The trees may outlive the memory of more than one of those in whose honor they were planted. But if it is something to make two blades of grass grow where only one was growing, it is much more to have been the occasion of the planting of an oak which shall defy twenty scores of winters, or of an elm which shall canopy with its green cloud of foliage half as many generations of mortal immortalities. I have written many verses, but the best poems I have produced are the trees I planted on the hill-side. Nature finds rhymes for them in the recurring measures of the seasons. Winter strips them of their ornaments and gives them, as it were, in prose translation, and summer reclothes them in all the splendid phrases of their leafy language.-OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES: Extract from Vetter.
As the leaves of trees are said to absorb all noxious qualities of the air, and to breathe forth a purer atmosphere, so, it seems to me, as if they drew from us all sorded and angry passions, and breathed forth peace and philanthrophy.-WASHINGTON IRVINS.
There is something nobly simple and pure in a taste for the cultivation of forest trees. It argues, I think, a sweet and generous nature to have this strong relish for the beauties of vegetation, and this friendship for the bardy and glorious sons of the forest. He who plants an oak looks forward to future ages, and plants for posterity. Nothing can be less selfish than this.-WASHINGTON IRVING.
The young oak grew, and proudly grew,
For its roots were deep and strong;
And the sunlight linger'd long
Was flung to the evening sky;
Mrs. E. OAKES SMITH : "The Acan." .
The Twenty-first General Assembly, by joint resolution, requested the Superintendent to embody in his “next biennial report” an exhaustive treatment of the subject of compulsory education. The following is the joint resolution:
“Resolved, by the House, the Senate concurring: That the Saperintendent of Public Instruction be requested to embody in his next biennial report to the General Assembly an exhaustive treatment of the subject of compulsory education, presenting in a condensed form, (1) the laws of other States and countries, which have adopted