Little-known fact: At the middle of the 20th century the United States imported nearly half the world’s cork. It was crucial for the defense industry’s wartime production of planes, ships and equipment. For years during World War II and after, Arbor Day celebrations across the U.S. featured governors and other officials intoning to live and radio audiences how citizens could help keep America free by planting a cork oak. In response, 4-H groups, boy scouts and garden clubs planted trees to do their patriotic duty.
David Taylor writes about revealing connections between people and their worlds. His writing about people, food, health and science has appeared in Smithsonian, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Outside, The Christian Science Monitor, Science, and Oxford American.