A man who walked...and danced... with nature, legendary naturalist and conservationist John Muir (1838-1914) was born on this day in Dunbar, Scotland, the third of eight children. He moved to Wisconsin with his family as a child.
"In God's wilderness is the hope of the world," he said. "The great, fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness."
In 1867, Muir embarked on his lifelong passion--roaming on foot through the U.S. wilderness and writing about his discoveries. "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world," he explained.
The environmentalist lobbied feverishly for federal action to protect the unspoiled beauty of nature and was responsible for establishing the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. In 1992, he formed The Sierra Club, an organization dedicated to the preservation of wilderness.
"The sun shines not on us, but in us. The river flows not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing," said Muir who often camped with Theodore Roosevelt. Their friendship celebrated conservation. Between 1901 and 1909, President Roosevelt set aside 148 million acres of forest reserves.
"Wherever we go in the wilderness," Muir said, "we find more than we seek."
More John MUIR Quotations
God's wilderness teaches us how to live.