''As crude a weapon as the cave man's club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life.''
Rachel Carson was born on May 27, 1907, in Springdale, Pennsylvania. She lived on a farm with her family, pigs, chickens, cattle, and a horse. She was often sick in her youth and often missed school, though she never fell behind. Her dream as a young girl was to be a writer, and she often read a magazine named St. Nicholas. Rachel would submit her writings to the magazine hoping they would someday be published. Finally, at the age of eleven, three of her articles were published.
Rachel attended Pennsylvania College for Girls. There she had a life changing experience when her biology teacher, Mary Skinker, encouraged her to not see biology as just nature, but as a key to understanding life itself. Rachel quickly understood and changed her degree to science major. At that time not many people majored in science. Her first job was working for the government as a writer for a radio show. All of her jobs to come were either writing and/or editing. She wrote many books in her lifetime, but her best is probably considered, Silent Spring. It was a very popular book among the public, though to others it made them very angry. It made the pesticide industry very upset. They complained that if people believed Carson's book there would be disease and people would starve. Rachel believed that weed killers and pesticides killed more than just insects. It killed birds and other wildlife. President John F. Kennedy took the book very seriously. Congress passed a law that the chemical companies now have to prove the product is safe before it can be sold instead of the government having to prove it is dangerous.
Carson did not live long enough to see her dreams come true. She died on April 14, 1964. Because of Rachel Carson, people have learned to take care of their environment. She contributed greatly to the world of science and is an inspiration to biologists of all ages, young and old.
To find out more about Rachel Carson, try these great websites!!
National Women's Hall of Fame: Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson, Woman Environmental Leader
Biography of Rachel Carson (History Channel)
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