Printer-friendly version Share:  Share this page on FacebookShare this page on TwitterShare this page by emailShare this page with other services

Chronology (Timeline) of the Life and Legacy of John Muir

From his birth to the present day

1838-2014


1838

  • April 21 : John Muir is born in Dunbar, Scotland, the son of Daniel and Ann Gilrye Muir. Siblings are Margaret (b. 1834) and Sarah (b. 1836) .

Historical Context

  • Muir was born a year after Queen Victoria assumed the throne of the United Kingdom
  • Morse patents the telegraph
  • Martin Van Buren is President of the U.S.A.


1839

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 1 year old
  • John and his family move from Muir's birthplace at 126/128 High St., Dunbar, next door to 130 High St., where the family remained until Muir was 11 years old.


1840

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 2 years old
  • Brother David born. Fearing for his baby brother's safety as the doctor was vaccinating the infant, Muir bites the doctor's arm. Doctor and mother both respond with laughter.


1841

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 3 years old
  • Enters primary school at the age of three


1842

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 4 years old
  • Muir's love of nature awakens in early childhood


1843

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 5 years old
  • Brother Daniel born


1845

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 7 years old
  • Enters Dunbar Grammar School: taught Latin, French, English, mathematics, and geography
  • Reads about natural history in school reader, is especially fascinated by America's fauna as described by John Audubon and Alexander Wilson. Spends much time wandering the local coastline and countryside.


1846

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 8 years old
  • Twin sisters Mary and Annie are born


1849

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 11 years old
  • February : The Muir family emigrates from Glasgow to New York, the trip taking six weeks by sailing ship, then via the Great Lakes and wagon to Fountain Lake , Buffalo Township, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Historical Context

  • California Gold Rush
  • Howe invents the sewing machine


1850

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 12 years old
  • From age 11 to 21 John Muir works as his father's unpaid farm laborer
  • Receives no formal schooling but teaches himself mathematics, geometry, literature, and philosophy
  • Sister Joanna born


1854

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 16 years old
  • Becomes greatly interested in literature and poetry
  • Muir constructs clocks, barometers, hydrometers, table-saws, and other such items


1856

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 18 years old
  • The Muir family moves from Fountain Lake farm to Hickory Hill farm nearby
  • Muir nearly dies from choke-damp while digging a well


1860

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 22 years old
  • September : Muir leaves home at age 22 to exhibit his inventions at the State Fair in Madison, Wisconsin. He receives his first public recognition in An Ingenious Whittler -- an 1860 newspaper account of his exhibited inventions.
  • Meets Jeanne Carr, a judge of the exhibits and wife of Ezra Carr , a professor at University of Wisconsin.

Historical Context

  • Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the U.S.A.


1861

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 23 years old
  • February : Enrolls at the University of Wisconsin and attends for almost 2 1/2 years (5 trimesters); teaches school in winter
  • Learns about geology from Dr. Ezra S. Carr . Carr's wife, Jeanne, becomes his mentor
  • Invents a study desk that retrieves a book, holds it in place for the prescribed period of time, and then automatically replaces it with another book

Historical Context

  • The U.S. Civil War (1861 - 1864) begins


1862

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 24 years old
  • Muir becomes consumed with an interest in botany


1863

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 25 years old
  • Leaves the university; returns to Fountain Lake awaiting possible draft for the American Civil War
  • Takes first botanical foot journey along the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi


1864

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 26 years old
  • Travels to Canada and remains there for two years.
  • Before leaving Canada, he attempts to save a portion of Fountain Lake Farm for its beauty alone -- presaging his major contribution to the formation of the national park system
  • Works at Trout's sawmill and broom and rake factory at Meaford, Ontario. (off-site link)
  • Botanizes in Ontario, discovering the rare orchid, Calypso borealis, the subject of his first published writing.

Historical Context

  • President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill giving Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove to California as state park lands; this is the nation's first act of wilderness preservation. (Note that Muir had nothing to do with this, although later he would go on to advocate establishing the Yosemite National Park.)


1865

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 27 years old
  • Uses his inventive abilities to improve manufacturing efficiency at Trout's factory.
  • When asked to teach Sunday school class, offers his students lessons in botany instead of the Bible as a means of understanding creation.
  • Begins correspondence with Jeanne Carr

Historical Context

  • President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.


1866

  • February 22 : The Meaford, Ontario factory where Muir had been working burns down.
  • Muir returns to the USA
  • April 21 : John Muir turns 28 years old
  • Employed as foreman and engineer at a carriage factory in Indianapolis, Indiana; he automates the machinery there
  • December : Muir's first published writing, "The Calypso Borealis", is published in the Boston Recorder .


1867

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 29 years old
  • March 5 : Blinded in a factory accident. After weeks of agony, cared for by Catharine Merrill, his sight returns. Muir decides to leave factory work to study nature.
  • September 1 : After recuperation and an extended visit at home, Muir sets out on a 1000 mile walk to Florida and Cuba, with South America as his ultimate goal


1868

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 30 years old
  • Sails to California via Cuba, New York, and the Isthmus of Panama
  • March 28 : Arrives in San Francisco, California.
  • April - June : First visit to Yosemite


1869

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 31 years old
  • Spends "first summer in the sierra" as a summer shepherd at Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains.
  • Starts to hike, climb and study the Sierra ranges and glaciers
  • Makes the first ascent of Cathedral Peak in what is now Yosemite National Park .


1870


1871

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 33 years old May : Ralph Waldo Emerson visits Muir in Yosemite
  • Autumn : Muir's first visit to to Hetch Hetchy valley, which he calls the "Tuolumne Yosemite."
  • December 5 : New York Tribune publishes Muir's first article from California, titled "Yosemite Glaciers"
  • Muir makes second, unsuccessful attempt, to buy a portion of Fountain Lake Farm for preservation


1872

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 34 years old
  • Spends winter working on his writings about Yosemite
  • Muir's articles "Yosemite Valley in Flood" (April), "Twenty Hill Hollow" (July), and "Living Glaciers of California" (December) are published in The Overland Monthly
  • Asa Gray, Professor of Botany at Harvard visits Muir in Yosemite
  • Makes first ascent of Mount Ritter (13,000 ft.) via the north face.
  • Meets the artist William Keith, who becomes his life-long friend.

Historical Context

  • Yellowstone becomes the first U.S. national park


1873

  • March 25: Boston Weekly Transcript publishes The Hetch Hetchy Valley, the fifth of Muir's newspaper columns to appear in print.
  • April 21 : John Muir turns 35 years old
  • Muir winters in Oakland and begins writing articles on Yosemite
  • Solo-climbs Mount Whitney (14,500 ft.), the first recorded ascent by an eastern route
  • First excursion to Kings River Canyon


1874

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 36 years old Solo ascent of Mount Shasta (14,400 ft.)
  • Explores the Modoc Lava Beds (now a National Monument) just south of the Oregon border in northern California.
  • San Francisco's The Overland Monthly starts publishing Muir's series, Studies in the Sierra
  • Through Jeanne Carr, meets the woman who will become his wife, Louie Wanda Strentzel, the 27-year-old daughter of Louisiana Irwin Strentzel and Dr. John Theophil Strentzel, a prosperous Polish immigrant who owns a large fruit farm near Martinez.
  • Forms close friendship with State Superintendent of Schools John Swett and his wife, Mary Tracy Swett


1875

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 37 years old
  • Lives in Bay Area writing magazine articles
  • Climbs Mount Shasta and Mount Whitney
  • Takes three-month mule trip to southern Sierra Nevada "hunting big redwoods."


1876

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 38 years old
  • Begins to write and lobby in public for forest protection and conservation
  • Gives first public lecture, to the Literary Institute of Sacramento. See "The Importance of John Muir's First Public Lecture, Sacramento, 1876" by Steve Pauly and reconstruction of lecture in John Muir Newsletter, Vol. 9, no. 1-3.
  • Sacramento Record-Union publishes his article, "God's First Temples", urging government protection of the forests


1877

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 39 years old
  • Leads Professor Asa Gray of Harvard and Sir Joseph Hooker of England's Kew Gardens on expedition to the Shasta region
  • Becomes life-long friends with John and Annie Bidwell of Chico
  • October: Floats from Chico 200 miles down the Sacramento River from to Chico on a small boat, initially named the Spoonbill but re-christened by Muir after some repairs as the Snagjumper, due to its prowess in navigating obstacles in the river. A brief side trip involved climbing the highest of the "Marysvillle Buttes" (now called the Sutter Buttes) which he measured as "eighteen hundred feet above its base, ... nineteen hundred and fifty feet above the river, ... or in round numbers two thousand feet above tidewater."
  • November: After exploring Kings Canyon and high regions of the southern Siera over 12,000 feet in elevation, he returned to Hopeton (near Snelling), built a small raft, and floated some 250 miles down the Merced River to the San Joaquin River, past Stockton and through the tule region into the bay" near Martinez. There he briefly visited the family of his future wife, Louie, and her parents Dr. & Mrs. Strentzel, before climbing Mount Diablo and returning to Oakland. [Sources: Life & Letters, Ch. 12, John of the Mountains, pp. 236-244]
  • Guides U.S. Geodetic Survey of Nevada and Utah mountains
  • Explores the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California


1878

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 40 years old
    • Muir's essay on the California Dipper, then known as the water ouzel , published in Scribners Monthly with the title "The Hummingbird of the California Water Falls."
  • Muir begins corresponding with the Strentzel family


1879

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 41 years old
  • Muir becomes engaged to Louisa Wanda (Louie) Strentzel
  • Exchanges information with early mountain climber P.C. Renfrew living near Eugene, Oregon. Renfrew urged Muir to explore the Cascades with him. He also provided Muir with information about tree species of the Pacific Northwest
  • First trip to Alaska, with S. Hall Young
  • Meets Robert Moran, who later donates land for Moran State Park on Orcas Island, Washington, inspired by Muir.
  • Discovers Glacier Bay and Muir Glacier; names Geikie and Hugh Miller Glaciers


1880

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 42 years old
  • In January, spends a month in Portland, Oregon and gives first public lectures about his travels and discoveries in Alaska. Has first meetings with many pioneer mountaineers and conservationists in Pacific Northwest
  • April 14 : Muir marries Louisa Wanda (Louie) Strentzel, age 33
  • July : makes second trip to Alaska, adventure with Stickeen


1881

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 43 years old
  • Third trip to Alaska, aboard the Corwin
  • March 25 : birth of daughter Wanda Muir
  • John Swett buys ranch adjoining Muir holdings


1882

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 44 years old
  • Construction of Martinez mansion, home of Muir's father and mother-in-law
  • Muir's article "Bee-Pastures of California" is published in Century magazine in two parts, later to be published in his book Our National Parks.
  • Muir becomes a rancher and fruit farmer for eight years


1883

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 45 years old.
  • Several of Muir's articles are re-printed in school readers.


1884

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 46 years old
  • Muir takes Louie (his wife) to Yosemite


1885

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 47 years old
  • Travels through Portland enroute to see family in Wisconsin. Makes brief stop in Columbia Gorge and at Multnomah Falls.
  • Muir visits and writes about Yellowstone National Park
  • Muir has a premonition that his father is dying; he gathers up his siblings for one last visit. Daniel Muir (his father) dies in Kansas City, Missouri with John at his bedside. Daniel is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery, and Muir writes an obituary about his father.


1886

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 48 years old
  • January 23 : Birth of his second child, Helen Muir


1887

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 49 years old
  • Muir begins work as editor and author on Picturesque California
  • May: Muir showed Muir Woods to noted British evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace, who commented that he went to the foothills near San Francisco: "to see the remains of the Redwood forest that once covered them, but which had all been ruthlessly destroyed to supply timber for the city and towns around. Our companion was Mr. John Muir, whose beautiful volume, The Mountains of California, is, in its way, as fine a piece of work as Mr. Hudson's Naturalist in La Plata." (Alfred Russel Wallace, My Life: A Record of Events and Opinions, Vol. 2., Dodd, Mead & Company, 1905).


1888

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 50 years old
  • Trip to Puget Sound and Mount Shasta ; climbs Mount Rainier (14,500 ft.)
  • Camp Muir on slopes of Mt. Rainier named by Edward Ingraham who was the leader of this climb. The site was named in Muir's honor because he discovered the camp site at 10,000 feet based on the presence of pumice which indicated a shelter from strong winds
  • Visits many sites in Pacific Northwest, including Portland Oregon, Columbia Gorge, Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Falls, Spokane Falls and Crater Lake. This trip provides material for articles about Oregon and Washington published in Picturesque California (Also in Steep Trails ).
  • Meets many prominent mountaineers and conservationists of the Pacific Northwest, including William Gladstone Steel (founder of Oregon Alpine Club and later the Mazamas and Philemon Van Trump(the first to climb Rainier)
  • Picturesque California , in two volumes, is published; Muir is editor and contributor


1889

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 51 years old
  • Around the campfire at Soda Springs, in Tuolumne Meadows (Yosemite), Century magazine editor Robert Underwood Johnson persuades Muir to write articles urging protection of Yosemite


1890

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 52 years old.
  • Fourth trip to Alaska ; 10 day solo-expedition by sled across Muir Glacier.
  • Muir's articles on Yosemite, The Treasures of Yosemite and Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park published in Century magazine , which greatly aid the campaign to establish Yosemite National Park.
  • Yosemite becomes a National Park.
  • Muir campaigns for Kings Canyon National Park, which would take another 49 years, and for Sequoia National Park, and sees the establishment of Sequoia National Park, and corresponds with George Stewart, known as the Father of Sequoia National Park.
  • Muir's father-in-law John Strentzel dies; Muir family moves into ranch house to care for Mrs. Strentzel.


1891

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 53 years old
  • Muir's eldest sister Maggie and her husband John Reid move to Alhambra Valley, and John Reid assumes many of the duties of ranch management, freeing Muir for writing and exploration
  • Muir visits Kings River region of the southern Sierra Nevada.


1892

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 54 years old
  • Muir co-founds the Sierra Club ; serves as its President for the rest of his life
  • John's brother David and his family move to the Martinez ranch from Portage , relieving his brother of the burden of ranch management. Muir is completely free to return to the wilderness and his efforts to save it.


1893

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 55 years old
  • Muir takes East Coast trip
  • June 8 : Visits Concord, Massachusetts and lays flowers on Thoreau's and Emerson's graves; visits Walden Pond
  • Trip to Europe: Edinburgh, Dunbar, London, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy
  • Campaigns for creation of Mount Rainier National Park


1894


1895


1896

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 58 years old
  • Joins the U.S. Forestry Commission, chaired by Charles Sargent, on a survey of the forests of Yellowstone , the Black Hills, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
  • Later surveys the Cascades, the Santa Lucia coast ranges, the mountains of southern California, the Grand Canyon and the southern Sierra Nevada.
  • Fifth trip to Alaska, with Henry Fairfield Osborn
  • June 23 : Muir's mother, Ann Gilrye Muir, dies
  • Muir makes third attempt to buy land at Fountain Lake for preservation
  • Receives honorary A.M. degree from Harvard University


1897

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 59 years old
  • Awarded honorary L.L.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin
  • Sixth trip to Alaska; 5 weeks via Banff and Canadian Rockies
  • Muir's articles on forest preservation, published in Harper's Weekly and Atlantic Monthly , create popular support for protecting forests


1898

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 60 years old
  • U.S. Forestry Commission survey of North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Delaware
  • Muir Visits Roan Mountain astraddle the Tennessee/North Carolina border - see Muir, Michaux, And Gray On The Roan By Bob Fulcher - reprint from The Tennessee Conservationist, September-October, 1998, about Muir's 1898 botanical excursion to Roan Mountain
  • John Muir Visits Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina (offsite link)
  • Muir also tours Montreal, St. Lawrence River, Maine, and Vermont mountains
  • Writes "The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West" article which promotes Mt. Rainier National Park along with other places


1899

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 61 years old
  • Mount Rainier National Park is established
  • Seventh trip to Alaska, with the Harriman Expedition to Wrangell, Glacier Bay, Sitka, and Prince William Sound


1900

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 62 years old
  • Muir works on a series of articles about parks and forests
  • Revisits his old haunts in the Sierra Nevada in the headwaters of the Truckee, Carson, Mokelumne, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Walker, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers, in the company of C. Hart Merriam


1901

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 63 years old Our National Parks is published
  • The city of San Francisco begins a campaign to build a reservoir in Hetch Hetchy. Valley.
  • Leads first annual Sierra Club trip to the mountains, guiding nearly 100 Sierra Club members around Yosemite for a month.
  • Muir's good friend, the geologist Joseph Le Conte, dies on the Yosemite outing.

Historical Context

  • Theodore Roosevelt becomes President of the U.S.A.
  • Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, dies.


1903

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 65 years old
  • May 15-17: President Theodore Roosevelt spends 3 days and nights camping alone with Muir in Yosemite
  • 1903-1904 - World tour: London, Paris, Berlin, Russia, Finland, Siberia, Korea, Japan, China, India, Egypt, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand, Malaya, Indonesia, Phillipines, Hong Kong, Hawaii
  • At age 65, Muir climbs the Mueller Glacier on Mount Cook, New Zealand


1904

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 66 years old
  • May 27: Muir returns home at the end of his World Tour.
  • Intensifies campaign to return Yosemite Valley back to federal control


1905

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 67 years old
  • With William Colby, Muir actively lobbies in Sacramento for state legislation to return Yosemite Valley back to federal control
  • Daughter Helen is ill; she travels with Muir to Arizona for recovery
  • The Mazamas and the Sierra Club hold a joint summer outing and climb of Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier. Steven Mather , later the first director of the National Park Service, is on this outing. Early Sierra Club activists Edward Parsons and William E. Colby were also members of the Mazamas which established friendships that later provided support for Muir's efforts to protect Hetch Hetchy.
  • Muir studies the Petrified Forest and campaigns for its protection
  • August 6 : Muir's wife, Louie Strentzel Muir, dies


1906

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 68 years old
  • Petrified Forest proclaimed a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt
  • June 11: President Roosevelt signs federal legislation to return Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to become part of the Yosemite National Park, after a 17 year campaign by John Muir and the Sierra Club.
  • Muir's daughter Wanda marries Thomas Hanna

Historical Context

  • The great San Francisco earthquake and fire occurs, fueling the city's desire to dam Hetch Hetchy. for a new water supply. The Muir home in Martinez is slightly damaged.


1907

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 69 years old
  • Muir begins the fight to save Hetch Hetchy Valley in earnest. The Sierra Club submits a resolution to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior opposing the damming of Hetch HetchyValley.


1908

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 70 years old
  • Grand Canyon National Monument is established
  • Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Muir Woods National Monument , named after Muir by request of the donor of the land, William Kent , who later becomes a U.S. Congressman
  • Muir dictates his autobiography, as a guest of Edward H. Harriman, at Pelican Bay, Oregon (on Klamath Lake)
  • Muir continues the battle for Hetch Hetchy.


1909

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 71 years old
  • Stickeen is published
  • Muir leads President Taft through the Sierra Nevada
  • Meets John Burroughs at the Grand Canyon; later joins him in Yosemite


1910

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 72 years old
  • Muir's daughter Helen marries Buel A. Funk
  • Muir spends several months writing and visiting his daughter and friends in Los Angeles
  • Muir takes the Osborn family on a trip to Yosemite, and J.D. Hooker on a short trip to the Grand Canyon.
  • Back home in Martinez, Muir wrote to a friend on December 17, 1910 that "I've been reading old musty dusty Yosemite Notes until I'm tired and blinky blind, trying to arrange them in something like lateral, medial, and terminal moraines on my den floor. I never imagined I had accumulated so vast a number... I thought that in a quiet day or two I might select all that would be required for a [Yosemite] guidebook; but the stuff seems enough for a score of big jungle books, and it's vey hard, I find, to steer through on anything like a steady course in reasonable time."


1911

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 73 years old
  • Spring: Muir travels to New York, Washington, Garrison, Boston, and New Haven.
  • May 13: Muir travels to Rochester to visit Harriman
  • May 21: Muir is interviewed in the Boston Herald before speaking to the Appalachian Mountain Club.
  • June: Muir's My First Summer in the Sierra is published
    • Book Review by Marion Randall Parsons (January, 1912 Sierra Club Bulletin)
  • June 17 : John Muir makes a speech to the American Alpine Club in New York, eventually published in Sierra Club Bulletin (Jan., 1924).
  • June 21: Muir is awarded an honorary Litt. D. degree by Yale University
  • July: Muir spends time at Osborn's summer house in Garrison, New York, working on editing the final proofs for The Yosemite.
  • August 12 : Leaves New York for a year-long trip to South America and Africa, fulfilling his 40 year dream to explore the Amazon and the Araucaria forests of Brazil and Chile.
  • September : Travels up the Amazon River as far as Manaus, Brazil; studies rainforest plants.
  • October : Explores forests of Araucaria braziliensis in southern Brazil.
  • November : Travels to Chile; explores forests of the rare monkey-puzzle tree, Araucaria imbricata (now A. araucana) in southern Andes Mountains.
  • December : Spends most of month at sea between South America and South Africa, stopping December 26 at Tenerife in the Canary Islands.


1912

  • January : Continues voyage to South Africa, arriving Cape Town January 13.
  • January 20 : Studies Baobab trees near Victoria Falls.
  • February : Travels in East Africa to the headwaters of the Nile River.
  • March : Continues travels from East Africa, then via ship to New York via Suez Canal and Naples.
  • March 27 : Arrives in New York after his thirty-week, 40,000 mile-long voyage.
  • April 21 : John Muir turns 74 years old
  • Muir continues the fight against the destruction of wilderness by lumber, mining, and power barons, including the plan to inundate Hetch Hetchy Valley.
  • Muir joins the Sierra Club's annual summmer Outing to the Kern River Canyon country, where the group meets a family outing led by Stephen Mather, who later became the first director of the National Park Service.
  • Muir's book The Yosemite is published.


1913

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 75 years old
  • The battle for Hetch Hetchy is lost; Hetch Hetchy Valley is granted to San Francisco for a water reservoir
  • Story of my Boyhood and Youth is published
  • Muir is awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of California


1914

  • April 21 : John Muir turns 76 years old
  • May: A young Japanese college student, Ryozo Azuma, learns about Muir when visiting Mt. Rainier from Tacoma Washington's College of the Pacific; he reads Muir's books and travels to Martinez where he meets Muir. Azuma later becomes a noted Japanese conservationist and mountaineer, known as "The John Muir of Japan."
  • December 24 : John Muir dies in California Hospital, Los Angeles, from pneumonia on Christmas eve
  • Muir is buried in the Strentzel family cemetery, Alhambra Valley, Martinez, California.

Historical Context

  • World War I begins in Europe.


1915

  • Travels in Alaska is published by Muir's literary executor, William F. Badè
  • Letters to a Friend consisting of letters written to Jeanne Carr by John Muir between 1866 and 1879 is published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • S. Hall young publishes Alaska Days with John Muir in which he recounts two journeys of discovery taken in company with Muir in 1879 and 1880. Young describes Muir's ability to "slide" up glaciers, the broad Scotch he used when he was enjoying himself, and his natural affinity for Indian wisdom and theistic religion. Here too, is the first mention of Muir's special insight with Young's dog, Stickeen.
  • The Sierra Club wins passage of California legislation appropriating the first $10,000 for construction of the John Muir Trail


1916


1917


1918


1919

  • The National Parks Association (re-named the National Parks Conservation Association in 1970) is founded with the personal and financial support of Sierra Club member and Park Service Director Stephen T. Mather. Retiring Park Service Education Division chief Robert Sterling Yard becomes its first leader.


1920

  • Muir's previously unpublished article, "Save the Redwoods" is published in the Sierra Club Bulletin


1921

  • Robert Moran donates land for Moran State Park on Orcas Island, Washington. Moran attributes his interest in conservation to his 1879 meeting with Muir


1924

Historical Context

  • Calvin Coolidge is elected President of the U.S.A.


1925

  • Pupils at the John Muir School in Seattle compose a John Muir Pageant and a book including essays by the students and quotations from Muir


1927

  • S. Hall Young of Alaska... The Autobiography of S. Hall Young is published, which recounts an accidental meeting with his old friend John Muir when boarding the steamer to Alaska at Seattle in 1897 when Muir was on his sixth trip to Alaska with Charles S. Sargent and William M. Canby.


1928

Historical Context

  • Herbert Hoover is elected President of the U.S.A.


1929

  • The Nature Singer by Charles Kellogg is published, recounting the author's meeting John Muir, and discussing Muir's views on Hetch Hetchy and the thirty years it took him to write Stickeen


1931

  • September 26, 1931 - A Redwood Tree dedicated to John Muir is planted in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, California, by the California Writers Club, joining memorial trees dedicated to many other well-known authors.
    The following undated newspaper clipping includes this poetic tribute to the tree:

    "They are Planting a Tree"

    They are planting a tree for old John Muir,
    Muir of the trees,
    Muir of the mountains,
    Planting it up where Joaquin stood
    Full in the face of the Western breeze.

    May they plant it well in the hope that it grows,
    set it out on
    The hill's high rim,
    and let it speak to passing men,
    "All of the Trees Remember him."

    - A. B. Schuster, in the Lantern


1932

Historical Context

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the U.S.A.


1934

  • The Sierra Club publishes A Guide to the John Muir Trail , by Walter Starr
  • April 27 : Fred Peake organizes a "John Muir Pilgrimage" from Lafayette to Wanda Muir's home in the Alhambra Valley.


1936

Historical Context

  • Franklin Roosevelt is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


1938

  • The 100th anniversary of the birth of John Muir
  • Linnie Marsh Wolfe publishes John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
  • Construction of the John Muir Trail is finally completed
  • Muir's life is celebrated in national parks around the United States
  • Pupils of Seattle's John Muir School publish another book, John Muir, A Pictorial Biography
  • The "John Muir Association" in Berkeley joins the campaign for protection of the Redwood Mountain Grove of Giant Sequoias, which in 1940 was included within the boundaries of Kings Canyon National Park.


1939

  • Ansel Adams publishes his first book, Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail


1940

  • Kings Canyon National Park is established, dropping the original title, "John Muir-Kings Canyon National Park", contained in the 1939 bill and incorporating much of the area that Muir had originally proposed for a Kings Canyon National Park decades earlier

Historical Context

  • Franklin Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented third term as President of the U.S.A.


1942


1944

  • The Sierra Club Bulletin publishes "The Creation of Yosemite National Park: Letters of John Muir to Robert Underwood Johnson" , the first time in print for these six lengthy letters.

Historical Context

  • Franklin Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the U.S.A.


1945


1948

  • Ansel Adams publishes Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada , which contains Adams' photographs and selections from the works of John Muir, and a brief Biography of John Muir by the book's editor, Charlotte E. Mauk

Historical Context

  • Harry Truman is elected President of the U.S.A.


1950


1952

  • September: Adolph D. Sweet publishes a story about his first-hand "Meeting John Muir in King's Canyon" in the Tulare County Historical Bulletin [later Los Tulares], wherein Muir complains about the slovenly camp-craft of artist C.D. Robinson, who himself wrote a quite different version of the event which occurred in 1891.

Historical Context

  • Dwight Eisenhower is elected President of the U.S.A.


1954


1955


1956

  • The John Muir Memorial Association is organized April 27 in Martinez , California, its purposes being "to perpetuate the memory of John Muir and his contributions to mankind, to apply his principles to the conservation of our natural resources, to cause his home in Martinez to become a public shrine and to educate school children and adults in the love of nature, to preserve and protect the forests, streams, and mountains of America". For some years prior, an informal group, including William E. Colby , met annually on Muir's birthday for a memorial at the Martinez gravesite.

Historical Context

  • Dwight Eisenhower is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


1957

  • John Muir Memorial Park , at the site of Muir's boyhood home, Fountain Lake Farm , is established in Marquette County, Wisconsin, on May 5. A marker of Montello red granite commemorates Muir's role as father of our national parks.


1960

Historical Context

  • John Kennedy is elected President of the U.S.A.


1961


1964

Historical Context

  • Lyndon Johnson is elected President of the U.S.A.


1965

  • Pathway in the Sky: The Story of the John Muir Trail , with text and photographs by Hal Roth, is published
  • John Muir is inducted into the Conservation Hall of Fame by the National Wildlife Federation (offsite-link)


1966

  • April: Originally called Second College, John Muir College is chosen as the name for the second college at the University of California, San Diego. This liberal arts college began to organize in 1964 and was scheduled to accept its first students in the Fall of 1967.


1968

Historical Context

  • Richard Nixon is elected President of the U.S.A.


1969

  • A historical marker about Muir is dedicated at a wayside park on Highway 22 in Marquette County, Wisconsin, a few miles from Fountain Lake farm.


1970

  • The Muir-Hanna families transfer the John Muir Papers to the custody of the University of the Pacific.

Historical Context

  • April 22 : The first "Earth Day" hosts teach-ins and demonstrations on behalf of the environment


1971

  • The Smithsonian Institution sponsors an exhibit on Muir at the National Portrait Gallery
  • Wisconsin Governor Patrick J. Lucey launches ceremonies for "John Muir Ecology Week" in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin .
  • Shirley Sargent publishes John Muir in Yosemite , containing many fine black and white photos of Muir and an excellent summary of Muir's Yosemite years.


1972

Historical Context

  • Richard Nixon is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


1973

  • Norman S. Berg reprints Letters to a Friend, comprising the letters John Muir wrote to his mentor Jeanne C. Carr between 1866 and 1879, first published in 1915.
  • Country Beautiful publishes The American Wilderness in the Words of John Muir, including color and black and white photos with Muir quotations.


1974


1975


1976

Historical Context

  • James (Jimmy) Carter is elected President of the U.S.A.


1977


1978


1979


1980

  • November 13-15 : The University of the Pacific sponsors its first national conference on Muir, "The World of John Muir". The conference proceedings are published in 1981.

Historical Context

  • Ronald Reagan is elected President of the U.S.A.


1981

  • John Muir House, Birthplace Museum opens at 128 High Street, Dunbar, Scotland
  • Martinez, California , proclaims Dunbar , Scotland its sister city


1982

  • The Muir-Strentzel ranch house in Martinez is 100 years old


1983

  • The John Muir Trust is founded in Scotland to conserve wild land, and is named in Muir's honor.
  • April 21 : Writer and actor, Lee Stetson, begins production of "Conversation With a Tramp -- An Evening with John Muir" in Yosemite, a one-man play that is still performed there and on tour around the world every year.


1984

  • The John Muir National Historic Site celebrates its 20th anniversary with the reconstruction of the carriage house at the site. Festivities include speeches and a music event during the day attended by some 450 people, and in the evening about 725 persons attend Lee Stetson's performance of "Conversations with a Tramp -- An Evening with John Muir".
  • Dr. D. Bruce Means retraces John Muir's 1,000 Walk tio the Gulf of Mexiico, and was heartsick to discover that virtually none of Muir's wilderness remained along the route.

Historical Context

  • Ronald Reagan is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


1985

  • April 12-13 : The University of the Pacific sponsors its second Muir conference, "John Muir -- Life and Legacy". The proceedings are published with that title in a special issue of The Pacific Historian , Summer/Fall 1985
  • John Muir Inducted as the first inductee in the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. (off-site link)


1986

  • The John Muir Papers , 1856-1957 are published on microform by Chadyck-Healey, Inc. Guide to the John Muir Papers Microform Edition is also published by Chadwyck- Healey, Inc
  • Second edition of John Muir: A Reading Bibliography by William F. and Maymie Kimes is published (Davis, CA: Panorama West Publishing)
  • Lee Stetson begins production of "Stickeen and Other Fellow Mortals"


1987

  • U.S. Interior Secretary Don Hodel proposes tearing down O'Shaugnessy Dam and restoring Hetch Hetchy to its pristine state
  • The John Muir Trust in Scotland makes its first purchase, 3,000 mountain acres at Li and Coire Dhorrcail in Knoydart, on the wild shores of Loch Hourn, including the summit of Ladhar Bheinn (1020 metres)


1988

Historical Context

  • George H. Bush is elected President of the U.S.A.


1989

  • April 21 is proclaimed John Muir Day on an annual basis by the State of California in A.B. 476 , following several years of gubernatorial proclamations and the legislature's commemorative Resolution in 1988.
  • Eco-Troubadour Bill Oliver sings "Muir Power to You" at California Wilderness Conference (celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Wilderness Act; October 19-22) in Visalia to honor Assemblyman Bob Campbell for sponsoring the John Muir Day legislation
  • Galen Rowell publishes The Yosemite combining his photographs and Muir's words from The Yosemite (Sierra Club Books)


1990

  • April 19-22 : The University of the Pacific sponsors its third Muir Conference, "John Muir: Citizen, Environmentalist, Scholar"
  • Shell Oil Co., marks its 75th anniversary in Martinez by dedicating a six-foot tall bronze statue of John Muir by sculptor Phillip Levine, in a Martinez city park near the John Muir National Historic Site
  • The John Muir Center for Regional Studies at the University of the Pacific begins republication of its John Muir Newsletter (new series)
  • Lee Stetson begins production of "Spirit of John Muir."
  • The U.S. celebrates the centennial of Yosemite and the twentieth anniversary of Earth Day


1991

  • The U.S. government purchases a 325-acre addition for the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez , incorporating the hills where Muir frequently roamed with his daughters Helen and Wanda
  • The John Muir Trust of Scotland purchases 5,000 acres of land at Torrin, Isle of Skye


1992

  • The Sierra Club celebrates its centennial
  • The John Muir Trust purchases 11,000 acres of remote Sandwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland
  • First British publication of The Eight Wilderness Discovery Books , edited by Terry Gifford

Historical Context

  • William (Bill) Clinton is elected President of the U.S.A.


1993

  • Proceedings of the 1990 University of the Pacific John Muir Conference are published as John Muir: Life and Work , edited by Sally M. Miller.


1994

  • June : The John Muir Exhibit website goes on-line on the World Wide Web, created by Harvey Chinn as webmaster, and Harold W. Wood, Jr. as content editor, hosted by the Information Center for the Environment at University of California, Davis.
  • July 27 : Dunbar's John Muir Association is founded in Scotland. the group in 2009 became Friends of John Muir's Birthplace.
  • The John Muir Trust purchases 15,000 acres of Strathaird and Bla Bheinn, Cuillin Hills, Skye, Scotland


1995

  • The U.S. Board on Geographic Names approves the request to give official status to Mount Helen and Mount Wanda, named for Muir's two daughters
  • Dunbar's John Muir Association launches its efforts establish a John Muir Centre in Dunbar as Scotland's premier institute for environmental education and sustainability
  • Sierra Club California publishes the John Muir Day Study Guide - a K-12 curriculum guide for teachers, in print and simultaneously on the World Wide Web.


1996

Historical Context

  • William (Bill) Clinton is elected to a second term as President of the U.S.A.


1997


1998


1999

  • The John Muir Birthplace Trust announces its purchase of John Muir's Birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland.
  • Scotland - Edinburgh City Art Centre and the East Lothian Council Museums Service presents "An Infinite Storm of Beauty," a major exhibition on the life and achievements of John Muir, to mark the 150th anniversary of his emigration to the United States, 31 July 1999 - 2 October 1999. This first international exhibition on Muir emphasizes his Scottish origins, and seeks to reclaim him as an environmental icon for the country of his birth.
  • Sacred Summits: John Muir's Greatest Climbs, a compilation of commentaries by academics and climbers on Muir's mountain-climbing achievements, as well as Muir's own mountaineering essays, edited and introduced by Graham White, is published in Scotland.
  • The John Muir Memorial Association releases the John Muir Tribute CD - a compilation on compact disk of Muir quotations and music evocative of Muir's contribution to wilderness preservation.
  • The John Muir Exhibit website launches a virtual stamp collection display of John Muir Stamps and Covers, containing over 100 pages of photos and text.
  • Peter Lang Publishing publishes John Muir in Historical Perspective, edited by Sally M. Miller, a collection of the most outstanding papers presented at the 1996 John Muir Conference at the University of the Pacific.
  • Elizabeth Pomeroy publishes John Muir in Southern California (Pasadena: The Castle Press, 1999).
  • A new video and DVD, Yosemite: The Storm of Beauty, narrated by Lee Stetson using the writings of John Muir, is published by Panorama International Productions, Inc.
  • A new organization, Restore Hetch Hetchy, is formed to focus public attention on the benefits of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley, the place John Muir called "a wonderfully exact counterpart of Yosemite Valley . . . a grand landscape garden, one of Nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples."


2000

  • January 17: On the Trail of John Muir by Cherry Good is published in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is later published and distributed in U.S. as well.
  • March 18: Concord John Muir Festival presents a series of live performances by and about John Muir,including workshop performances for the upcoming "Mountain Days: The John Muir Musical."
  • April 15: John Muir's vision was behind the Presidential Proclamation of Giant Sequoia National Monument, a process which John Muir was instrumental in starting nearly 100 years ago by urging President Theodore Roosevelt to protect America's treasures under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906. Then-President Bill Clinton quoted Muir in proclaiming the new National Monument: "These majestic trees will continue to 'preach God's forestry fresh from heaven.'" President Clinton proclaims a , believed by many at the time to have effectively completed John Muir's dream of preserving all the Giant Sequoia Groves throughout their range, from the Kings River to the Kern River of the southern Sierra. But the battle continues as the Forest Service continually refuses to follow the principles outlined in the Proclamation, requiring correction by the courts in litigation brought by the Sierra Club.
  • Lee Stetson establishes a website featuring his John Muir Productions.
  • Eco-Troubadour Bill Oliver makes his first classic song of John Muir inspiration, Muir Power to You, available for free download on the Internet in MP3 format.
  • October 12: World Premiere of "Mountain Days: the John Muir Musical." at Chronicle Pavilion in Concord, California.
  • The National Park Service acquires John Muir's gravesite from The American Land Conservancy, which had held the cemetery for a period of five years to enable purchase by the government for inclusion in the John Muir National Historic Site.
  • Noted outdoor educator and author Joseph Cornell publishes John Muir: My Life With Nature, an "autobiography" largely using John Muir's words but simplified for young people.
  • Chris Highland publishes Nature's Temple: Daily Wisdom from John Muir.
  • The National Geographic Society publishes its second book about John Muir in the twentieth century, John Muir: Nature's Visionary by Gretel Ehrlich.
  • The Canadian Friends of John Muir, the John Muir Memorial Association, and other groups worldwide devoted to John Muir launch The Global John Muir Network website.

Historical Context

  • George W. Bush is elected as President of the U.S.A.


2001


2002

  • Texas A & M University Press publishes God's Wilds: John Muir's Vision of Nature, by Dennis C. Williams
  • Points of Light Foundation announces John Muir as an Honoree on THE EXTRA MILE - Points of Light Volunteer Pathway (Washington, D.C.).
  • A John Muir-Yosemite design is among the top 20 semi-finalists, out of 8,000 submissions, for the California Quarter Program.
  • On John Muir's birthday, April 21, 2002, the Sacramento Bee proclaimed that "Today, the idea of restoring the Hetch Hetchy Valley doesn't feel so wacky. It conceivably fits into a new era of water plumbing and water policy. It may be feasible to replace the water for the Bay Area -- even make the supply more reliable -- by connecting some plumbing that already exists with some new projects that are already within the comfort zone of California's contentious water politics."
  • May 11: U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer announced introduction of the proposed "California Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2002," which if enacted would protect approximately 2.5 million acres of public lands in 81 different areas across California. Muir said, "In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness." Muir's call has long been an inspiration for wilderness preservation efforts.
  • In her article based on extensive research of original documents, John Muir and the Civil War, historian Millie Stanley refutes the common accusation that John Muir was a draft doger. (Published in University of the Pacific, John Muir Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall, 2002).


2003

  • On January 7, 2003, Lee Stetson, the actor well-known to Yosemite visitors with his portrayals of John Muir, was sworn in as a Mariposa County Supervisor, generating news reports in newspapers throughout California and national attention on PBS and other news outlets nation-wide.
  • April 28: California Governor Gray Davis recommended five design concepts - including a John Muir-Yosemite coin - to the U.S. Mint as part of the Fifty State Commemorative Coin Program.
  • August 9: - The John Muir Birthplace on High Street, Dunbar, Scotland, re-opens to the public after a two-year renovation project. The house as viewed from the High Street is as it was in the mid-19th century. Inside on the ground floor exhibits tell the story of John's boyhood, his family and how the people of the town lived in those times. On the middle floor we travel to America to discover Wisconsin, Canada, the 1000 mile walk and California.The upper floor is John's world travels and his conservation message and vision, and how you can follow in John Muir's footsteps. As an interpretative centre, THE JOHN MUIR BIRTHPLACE is designed to help educate all visitors about Muir's life, especially UK citizens who know little about him.
  • August 8: John Muir's Mountain Days returned for its fourth season in Martinez, California. It is now considered California's Biggest Outdoor Musical! The 2003 season ran August 8 - 31, 2003 at the John Muir Amphitheater, Martinez, CA. Learn more or purchase tickets for next season.
  • The John Muir Festival Center is formed as a nonprofit corporation, representing a unique collaboration betwen the City of Martinez, the National Park Service, the John Muir Memorial Association, the Willows Theatre Compnay and the Martinez historical Society.
  • Michael Muir, a great-grandson of John Muir, and the President of United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., took
    a 1,000 mile journey in a horse drawn cart, following the route taken by John Muir
    in his first great wilderness adventure, The Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf. Starting in Louisville, Kentucky on September 22, 2003, the Journey went through Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida to arrive at Cedar Keys on the Gulf of Mexico on December 11, 2003.
  • On September 2, 2003, BBC Radio in the UK ran a feature on Muir, John of the Mountains: Following in the footsteps of John Muir which observes, "John Muir was a man whose life was nothing short of inspirational. His writings are clear, vibrant and full of prophetic wisdom - he was one of the first to realize that all species are interconnected and "hitched together." (Includes Real Audio - Off-site link)
  • September 2: BBC Radio broadcasts a program: John of the Mountains: Following in the footsteps of John Muir (Real Audio - Off-site link)
  • November 18: The U.S. Mint Citizens Coin Advisory Committee reviewed five California quarter designs, and recommended two designs: a simple design illustrating waves and the sun, and the Yosemite Valley design with John Muir against a mountainous landscape. See the designs and read the article at: California Sun Wins Favor (off-site link).
  • November: The Indiana Historical Bureau unanimously approves the application for a state historical marker commemorating John Muir's time in Indiana. A marker will be designed for the site and a suitable dedication ceremony will be performed. For more information, see:
  • Restore Hetch Hetchy publishes a documentary video Hetch Hetchy: Yosemite's Lost Valley to promote a win-win solution for restoring the valley in Yosemite National Park treasured by John Muir.
  • December 11 - Michael Muir, a great-grandson of John Muir, and the President of United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., completee a 1,000 mile journey in a horse drawn cart, following the route taken by John Muir in his first great wilderness adventure, The Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf. Starting in Louisville, Kentucky on September 22, 2003, the Journey went through Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida to arrive at Cedar Keys on the Gulf of Mexico on December 11, 2003.


2004

  • March 29: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announces the selection of the John Muir-Yosemite design for the California State Quarter
  • April 21: John Muir's birthday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Nearly 90 years after his death, the evocative reflections of conservationist John Muir continue to inspire citizens of our state and nation to appreciate and protect our natural heritage."
  • On April 21, 2004, John Muir's birthday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Nearly 90 years after his death, the evocative reflections of conservationist John Muir continue to inspire citizens of our state and nation to appreciate and protect our natural heritage."
  • May: The Muir-Hanna Family Trust contributes a headstone for Muir's father Daniel Muir at the historic Elmwood Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • July 2 - The Indiana Historical Bureau and the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club dedicate a new State Historical Marker - John Muir in Indiana.
  • August 4: Former President Bill Clinton said, with reference to a very mis-guided proposal to roll-back the Roadless Rule for our National Forests made by the Bush Administration, "One of the Americans who inspired Theodore Roosevelt to conserve our nation's forests was the naturalist John Muir, who once said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bred - places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." In today's fast-paced, high-tech world, Muir's words are even more compelling."
  • On November 8, 2004, California Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman announced the State would conduct a review of the possibility of restoring Muir's beloved Hetch Hetchy Valley.

Historical Context

  • George W. Bush is re-elected as President of the U.S.A.

2005

  • January 31: The U.S. Mint releases the John Muir-Yosemite design for its State Quarters program. United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver at the California State History Museum in Sacramento to launch the California State Quarter for the press.
  • February 9: The University of the Pacific sponsors a celebration of the John Muir California Quarter at a special program and reception, open to the public and attended by many Muir descendants. Concept designer Garrett Burke presented a slide show about his family's involvement with developing the John Muir California State Quarter concept.
  • April 1: Opening of "The Life and Legacy of John Muir" exhibit and film produced by the Clan Currie Society at the at Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Monument.
  • April 23: John Muir Birthday/Earth Day Celebration at John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez.
  • John Muir National Historic Site features a new visitor orientation film.

2006


2007

  • May 3, 2007 - Sierra Club Sues University of Wisconsin Over Coal-Fired Power Plant, saying the university is failing to live up to its progressive tradition by illegally operating a 53-year-old power plant that is a major source of pollution, emitting thousands of tons of pollutants that contribute to global warming, respiratory illness and mercury-polluted lakes. With its lawsuit, the Sierra Club is targeting the school where its founder John Muir studied in the 1860s. Muir once credited his education at the university for helping inspire his environmentalism. But now, according to the Sierra Club's lawsuit, the university is violated the Clean Air Act by failing to install modern pollution controls when it performed several upgrades to keep the polllting power plant built in 1954 in operation.
  • A 2007 Time magazine special on "The Greening of the Pentagon" reported: "In a recent paper, former CIA Director James Woolsey imagined a dialogue between John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, and General George Patton on climate change. In Woolsey's telling, Muir cares about the environment, and Patton about security, but in subject after subject -- alternative energy, increasing efficiency, improving the electrical grid -- they come to the same green conclusion, if for different reasons. 'It just happens that the two ideas produce the same outcome,' says Woolsey. 'There is something there for everybody.'"
  • July 18, 2007: The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awards a grant of $80,000 to Global Village Media in support of their new documentary, "John Muir in the New World."
  • November 7, 2007 - The play "Forces of Nature" by Stephen Most premiered at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut. It has since been performed elsewhere in New England. The plot of the play follows Pinchot and Muir as they exchange views on conservation and speak with President Roosevelt about conserving land. The conflict between conservating natural resources for human use and preserving nature from human interference came to a head over the issue of whether to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley to provide power and light for San Francisco.

2008

Historical Context

  • Barack Obama is elected as President of the U.S.A.

2009

2010

  • January - The Montello Historic Preservation Society begins "The Year of John Muir in Marquette County," the boyhood hoe of John Muir in Wisconsin. Events over the year included publication of a book, Muir is Still Here, a special exhibit by the same name at the Historic Preservation Museum in Vaughn Hall, Montello, and a series of Muir-related outings and lectures.
  • Lee Stetson releases a new DVD/BluRay, the Voice of John Muir. This documentary not only covers Stetson's remarkable career, but shows how Muir's eloquent words, written a century ago, continue to inspire and influence our attitudes to nature today.
  • April 5 - Scotland's Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning and former minister for the environment, Michael Russell in an editorial, Prizing the Power of the Sea said, "Muir was never deterred by those naysayers who thought his idealism misplaced. He won many battles, and some he lost. But he built movements for change that inspired millions, forced political leaders to join his cause and changed not only hearts, but minds. Muir was always more than an idealistic naturalist; he was a persuasive advocate, as adept as any politician at winning public support. Muir would have been excited by the prospect that the natural resources around us may actually be the key to solving the climate crisis. The potential of wind, solar and wave energy to produce renewable, clean sources of power and reduce our dependency on methods that damage our environmental future should be at the top of our list of solutions. Read more....
  • April 9 - The Scottish Government and Sierra Club held a special tree planting ceremony for A Celebration of the Treasured Life and Legacy of John Muir- Honored Son of Scotland and Sierra Club Founder at the Dr. Edgar and Peggy Wayburn Redwood Grove, The Presidio, San Francisco, followed by a special presentation on John Muir’s Legacy in a Climate-Challenged World with featured speakers Carl Pope, Chairman of the Sierra Club, and Michael Russell, Scotland's Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning and former minister for the environment.
  • April 21 - Celebrating John Muir’s 172nd Birthday, Sierra Club unveils revamped John Muir Exhibit website. See Press Release - Celebrating Environmental Pioneer John Muir’s 172nd Birthday Sierra Club Unveils Revamped Muir Historical Website (See also local file: Press Release on John Muir Exhibit
  • April 22-24 - John Muir: Naturalist and Scientist Symposium at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California.
  • June 5, 2010- Both Mariposa and Tuolumne counties have designated Highway 132 from Coulterville to Highway 120, a major route into Yosemite National Park, as the John Muir Highway. A dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, June 5, 2010 in Coulterville. - For more information, see www.johnmuirhighway.net and Yosemite Highway Dedicated to John Muir- Press Release by Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau. A musical play writen and directed by Nancy Robichauds with music by Ann Schafer, "The Wild Adventures of John Muir" also premiered.
  • June 19 - Montello Historic Preservation Society exhibit "Muir is Still Here" opens to celebrate John Muir's boyhood ties to Marquette County, Wisconsin. A series of special events were held along with the exhibit over the course of the year celebrating "The Year of John Muir" in Marquette County, including guest speakers, book signings, field trips, hikes, and a special book, Muir is Still Here, by Daryl Christensen and Kathleen McGwin.
  • August 29 - Book signing in Montello, Wisconsin, of a Limited Edition reprint of Heart of John Muir’s World by Millie Stanley. This book has been out of print for years.

2011

  • February, 2011, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, California, opens the first of a series of traveling exhibits of Nature's Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir's Botanical Legacy.
  • Sculptor William Pettee creares two bronze sculptures of John Muir. The first, Mountain Muir, is installed at at the Holt Atherton Library at University of the Pacific. The second, Nature's Prophet, is installed at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. Later the same year, Pettee creates small-scale versions of these sculputures, and a series of John Muir busts, all available to the public for purchase.
  • August 6, 2011, the fanmed Oakland Museum of California opens a new temporary multi-media exhibit spotlighting the life of John Muir as well as eight Modern Day Muirs. A Walk in the Wild: Continuing John Muir's Journey.
  • Appleseeds Magazine features John Muir (April, 2011)
  • Publication of My First Summer in the Sierra: 100th Anniversary Illustrated Edition of the American Classic by John Muir with Photographs
    by Scot Miller, Foreword by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the book's original publication, "My First Summer in the Sierra" is illustrated with Scot Miller's stunning photographs, showcasing the dramatic landscape of the High Sierra plus John Muir's illustrations from the original edition and several previously unpublished illustrations from his 1911 manuscript. A video Book Trailer on YouTube is available.
  • April 18, 2011, the film documentary John Muir in the New World premieres on the American Master television series on PBS. The home DVD is released later in the year.
  • Saturday, April 21, 2012, John Muir Birthday - Earth Day at John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California celebrates John Muir’s 174th birthday and the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day!

2012

2013

  • January 14, 2013, Sierra Club publishes a quiz, How Muir Are You? - Take a Sierra Club quiz to find out just how similar to our beloved Sierra Club founder, the Father of National Parks, you are.
  • April 3 - June 3, 2013 - John Muir Exhibit at Federal Hall, NYC - As part of Scotland Tartan Week 2013,the American Scottish Foundation hosted a photographic exhibition "In The Footsteps of John Muir" by renowned Scottish photographer Ken Paterson.
  • April 8, 2013 - A project is launched to document in three-dimensional digital format Scottish conservationist John Muir's homes, his birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland, and his long-time home in Martinez, California.
  • May 17, 2013, a concert band piece "A Dauntless Soul" by composer William Camphouse, premiered at John Swett High School in Martinez, California.
  • June 7 & 8, 2013 - Fourth Annual John Muir Festival in Coulterville, California.
  • A Gaelic play celebrating 175 years since the birth of the naturalist John Muir and the Year of Natural Scotland, titled Seonaidh a’ Mhonaidh (John of the Moors), to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland.

2014

  • Scotland will be in its element in 2014, when the proud nation will celebrate its Year of Homecoming, the Commonwealth Games, and the 100th anniversary of environmentalist John Muir’s death. In April, Muir’s homeland will unveil the John Muir Way, a trail that snakes 105 miles from his hometown of Dunbar, passing through gorgeous, gothic Edinburgh, the dramatic Highlands, the mythical Loch Lomond, and ending in the resort town of Helensburgh.
  • March 21-22, 2014, the John Muir Symposium sponsored by the University of the Pacific's John Muir Center. Join Muir enthusiasts on the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, the 100th anniversary of Muir’s death and the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act to revisit John Muir’s life and legacy. University of the Pacific will host the 60th California History Institute on its Stockton campus from Friday, March 21, through Saturday, March 22, 2014. Expect to hear papers by new Muir scholars currently working Muir’s legacy, as well as several familiar names who have become regulars at Muir symposia. Plenary sessions and keynotes will be given by three scholars now living in the U. K.: Terry Gifford, Graham White and Andrea Wulf. A special exhibit on the history of the Muir Papers and their present locations is planned, as well as coordinated field trips before and after the symposium. If interested in presenting or attending the conference, please contact : wswagerty@pacific.edu
  • May 31, 2014 - 5th Annual John Muir Festival sponsored by the John Muir Geoutourism Center, Lake McClure Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area...a place that JM journaled about! Sponsored by the John Muir Geotourism Centre of Coulterville, California.



Compiled by: Harold W. Wood, Jr., Chair, Sierra Club John Muir Education Team

Last Updated: January 18, 2014


Home | Alphabetical Index | What's New  


Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2014 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.