May 28th 1892: Sierra Club founded

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Sierra Club logo

 

On this day in 1892, John Muir founded the famous environmental organisation the Sierra Club in San Francisco, California. Muir was a notable conservationist and preservationist and became the Club’s first president. The Sierra Club worked to establish and protect federal national parks, most famously Yosemite National Park. Their cause received a boost during Progressive Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency (1901-1909), who was a naturalist like Muir.

 

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Roosevelt (left) & Muir in Yosemite

 

Some of the Club’s most notable successes since 1892 came during Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programme, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. The Sierra Club continues to be an influential group in the United States as one of the largest pressure groups in the nation. It has a significant influence over environmental issues and dedicates itself to tackling climate change and damage to the environment, most recently protesting against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

 

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Painting of Yosemite National Park

 

February 27th 1892: Louis Vuitton dies

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Louis Vuitton (1821 – 1892)

 

On this day in 1892 the French businessman Louis Vuitton, founder of the namesake fashion brand, died aged 70. From a working class French family, Vuitton had ambitions beyond his small hometown of Anchay. He famously spent two years traveling to Paris on foot between 1835 and 1837. Once there he had great success as a box maker, eventually becoming Emperor Napoleon III’s wife’s personal box maker. He established the Louis Vuitton company in 1854, and passed the business to his son George upon his death in 1892.

 

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Louis Vuitton logo

 

Louis Vuitton remains one of the world’s leading high-fashion brands, alongside such names as Ralph Lauren and Gucci. Louis Vuitton bags are a highly valued fashion item. Personally I am a bit fashion-blind so I struggle to understand some of the attraction of these items. However for dedicated followers of fashion (couldn’t resist a Kinks reference here!), they are very important. Despite being generally ignorant of fashion, it is a testament to the enduring popularity of Vuitton’s company that they have such name recognition beyond those with a specific interest in fashion.