Ancient Trees Inspire Activism
"The oldest and largest living thing upon the earth; a tree that has beheld the glory and fall of Greece and Rome; the destruction of Jerusalem, of Babylon, and Palmyra; that saw the flight of Paris with Helen; that knew of the wanderings and trials of Ulysses; that had witnessed the incarnation, miraculous mission, crucifixion, and ascension of the Messiah; a tree that had seen the conflicts and success, the defeats and triumphs of Christianity and freedom for ages; that watched the career of that mysterious person, the wandering Jew, for eighteen centuries; that saw the Hegrina of Mahomet, the rise and glory of Herculaneum and Pompeii, and their final disappearance in a tomb of fire-could it not tell is of many mighty events now lost to the history of the world which can never be known?"
-Exhibition Pamphlet: Mammoth Tree From California in Giants in the Earth: The California Redwoods
This exhibit focuses on the argument that the redwoods of Northern California needed to be protected in the form of state and national parks because they were the oldest and largest trees in the world. This argument was first used by the Save-The-Redwoods League in the early 1920s and has continued being used throughout the history of costal redwood conservation, especially in the 1960s with the establishment of Redwood National Park.