On what would be Rachel Louise Carson’s 107th birthday, Google honored the renowned environmentalist and author of the 1962 novel Silent Spring through one of its famous homepage doodles.
The Google Doodle featured Carson surrounded by a wild plethora of plants and creatures as she stood on the bank of a river holding her notebook. The image references the contents of her bestselling book that introduced the general public to the poisonous effects pesticides were having on our ecosystem.
Silent Spring’s alarming revelations caused a wave of outcry, and put the book on the bestsellers list for three straight years. Her writing and research lead many to credit Silent Spring as the spark behind the environmental movement as we know it today.
Raised in the rural town of Springdale, Pennsylvania, Carson would go on to receive her masters in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932. She also worked as a journalist, writing for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and also serving as an editor and scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
To the dismay of the chemical industry, government scientists, and much of the media at the time, she testified before the U.S. Congress in 1963, calling for both new and better policies that would protect human health and the environment.
In 1964 Rachel Louise Carson died of cancer at the age of 56, but the effects of her work were tremendous, earning her the Presidential Medal of Freedom 16 years later.
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