The first Arbor Day was held in Villanueva de la Sierra, Spain in 1805. The local parish priest, Father Ramón Vacas Roxo, was “convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs” and decided to plant trees, giving his town “a festive air.” His congregation was enthusiastic. After Mass and the ringing of the bells, a tree was planted and the first Arbor Day became history.
The first American Arbor Day took place in Nebraska City, 1872—and a million trees were planted on that day.
Today, National Arbor Day—a day on which people are encouraged to plant and care for trees—is celebrated on the last Friday of April. Some states celebrate their own Arbor Days at different times of the year.
The “Mighty Oak” greeting card pictured above was letterpress-printed in California.
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