Today, Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday of April ....

Black and white image of a man with an axe standing in a forest of massive Giant Douglas Fir trees.

Today, Arbor Day is recognized on the last Friday of April. But the first Arbor Day celebration was held on this date, April 10, in 1872. The holiday was the work of Julius Sterling Morton, the editor of the Nebraska News and an advocate for reforestation.

In January of 1872, Morton began working with the Nebraska state Board of Agriculture to initiate a tree-planting holiday for the state. That April, Morton and the Board organized schoolchildren and civic groups to plant trees statewide. In 1874, the holiday was made official in Nebraska. The state later changed the date to the 22nd of April in 1885 in honor of Morton's birth date. As the holiday spread nationwide, this later date became associated with the current day of observance.

This ca. 1939 photograph shows a forest of Giant Douglas Fir trees in the Chilliwack Valley, located in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is part of Hagley Library's collection of Chamber of Commerce of the United States photographs and audiovisual materials, Series II. Nation's Business photographs (Accession 1993.230.II). This series contains more than 15,000 original photographs that were taken for publication in the the Chamber of Commerce of the United States' magazine, Nation's Business. The images date from the 1890s to 2004, with a bulk of the material dating from the 1940s through the 1960s.

The Chamber of Commerce of the United States is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Chamber members range from small businesses and local chambers to leading industry associations and large corporations. The Chamber traces its origins to an April 22, 1912, conference of commercial and trade organizations called by President William Howard Taft. The goal was to form a national group to advise the government on issues facing industry and business throughout the country.​

Nation’s Business was a monthly publication from the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. The Chamber used the publication to inform the business community about commercial trends and to solidify political support around key positions on government policies regarding business and economic life.

Nation's Business is call number f HF1.N38 in the Hagley Library's Published Collections Department; our holdings cover all the years of its publication (1912 to 1999), with most volumes included in their entirety.  All of the issues in our collection of Nation's Business from 1915 on have been digitized - you can view them online now by clicking here or view a digital collection of Chamber of Commerce of the United States photographs, videos, and publications by clicking here.