Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Writer & Conservationist

Date Marjory Stoneman Douglas Miami and Florida Events International and National Events
1890 Birth of Marjory Stoneman
Marjory Stoneman Douglas was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 7, 1890. Her parents were Frank Bryant Stoneman and Florence "Lillian" Trefethen.
Creation of First National Parks
Establishment of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890.
1892 Sierra Club
Naturalist and writer John Muir (1838-1914) founded the Sierra Club on May 28, 1892
1894 Trip to Florida
Marjory Stoneman traveled to Florida with her parents and their friends for the first time in 1894. They visited Tampa and Havana. She was 4 years old and "never forgot the quality of the tropic light."
1896 Parents' Divorce
Marjory Stoneman's parents divorced in 1896. Marjory was six years old. Frank Stoneman moved to Florida. Marjory and her mother, Lillian, lived in Tauton, MA with her maternal grandparents and aunt Fanny.
Beginings of the City of Miami
Foundation of the City of Miami in 1896: 380 people vote for incorporation. The city's name has its origin in the Calusa Indian word "Myaimi" which means "Big Water".
Miami's Press
Miami Metropolis (later known as the Miami Daily) published the first newspaper of the city.
1901 Writings on American National Parks by John Muir
Publication of "Our National Parks" by conservationist John Muir (1838-1914). The book is a compilation of essays on Yosemite, Sequoia and Yellowstone national parks (1901).
1903 National Bird Preserve (Pelican Florida)
Establishment of the National Bird Reservation on Pelican Island, Florida by an Executive Order of President Theodore Roosevelt (March 14, 1903).
1905 Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
In 1905, Everglades dredging plans were underway under Florida Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (1905-1909) who made it a central theme of his campaign to create "The Empire of the Sun" (1905).
1906 The Miami Evening Post and Frank Stoneman
Frank Stoneman, Marjory Stoneman Douglas' father, founded the "Miami Evening Post" in 1906. The paper published editorials against the dredging of the Everglades and came close to bankruptcy as a result (1906).
1908 High School Graduation
Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduated from High School in 1908. She wrote the "Parting Ode".
Wellesley College
Marjory Stoneman Douglas enrolled at Wellesley College in 1908 where she majored in English, was editor of the college annual and elected class orator (1908).
1910 The Miami Herald
In 1910, Frank Shutts purchased the "Evening Post" and the paper was renamed the Miami Herald with Frank Stoneman as Executive Director
1912 College Graduation and mother's death
Marjory Stoneman graduated from Wellesley college in 1912. Her Aunt Fanny was the only family member in attendence. Marjory's mother, Lillian, died of cancer that same year.
1913 Marriage to Kenneth Douglas
In 1913, Marjory Stoneman married Kenneth Douglas, church and social service editor of the Newark Evening News. The marriage lasted only two years.
1915 Divorce and Move to Florida
When she arrived in Miami in 1915 Marjory Stoneman Douglas was greeted by her father Frank B. Stoneman, editor of the Miami Herald.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas began working as the Miami Herald Society Editor. She enjoyed writing for the column.
1916 Women's Business League
Marjory Stoneman Douglas founded and was the first President of the Women's Business League in Miami Florida (Feb. 10, 1916).
1917 - 1918 Naval Service
In 1917, the Miami Herald sent Marjory Stoneman Douglas to report on the first Florida woman to enlist in the naval reserve. Shortly after, she called her father to report that: "I got the story on the first woman to enlist. It turned out to be me." She served from 1917 to 1918 then requested a discharge.
1918 American Red Cross
In 1918, she volunteered to serve in the American Red Cross and was assigned overseas to France then to Italy. She also traveled to Italy and Yugoslavia and wrote reports about the work of the American Red Cross in Europe.
1920 "The Galley"
Marjory Stoneman Douglas returned from Red Cross volunteer work in Europe and became Assistant Editor for the Miami Herald. She wrote a column called "The Galley Proof" later known as "The Galley" (1920)
1923 Short Stories
In 1923, Marjory Stoneman Douglas suffered a nervous breakdown, quit the Herald and began working as a free lance writer. Her pieces were published primarily in the Saturday Evening Post. Florida was favored topic or setting for her short stories. She would continue in the genre until the 1940s
1924 Coconut Grove
Marjory Stoneman Douglas purchased land and begins construction of her house in Coconut Grove, FL. She's 34.
1926 1926 Hurricane
In 1926, the construction of the house was finished but the great 1926 Hurricane hit Miami while Marjory Stoneman Douglas was away visiting relatives in Tauton, Massachusetts. Luckily, the house sustained minor damages.
1927 O. Henry Award
Marjory Stoneman Douglas received the O. Henry Award for her publication of "He Man" in the July 30 issue of Saturday Evening Post. (1927)
1928 O. Henry Award
Marjory Stoneman Douglas received the O. Henry Award for her publication of "The Peculiar Treasure of Kings" in the November 26 issue of the Saturday Evening Post (1928).
Ernest F. Coe
In 1928, Ernest F. Coe, Coconut Grove landscape architect, formulated a proposal for the creation of Everglades National Park.
1929 Everglades National Park
Creation of an Everglades National Park Commission by the Florida Legislature (1929). The same year the U.S. Congress passed a resolution qualifying the Everglades as a national Park
1930 Tropical Gardens
Marjory Stoneman Douglas wrote "An Argument for the Establishment of a Tropical Botanical Garden in South Florida (1930)"
Farchild Tropical Garden
Beginnings of Fairchild Tropical Garden under the patronage of Colonel Montgomery who appointed David Fairchild as director 1930.
1930's Playwriter
In 1930, She was on the board of the theater in Miami. She wrote a one-act tragedy: "Gallows Gate" and won first prize in the "state little-theatre competition".
1934 The Everglades as National Park
Congress set forth the conditions that were to be met by the state of Florida for the Everglades to become a national park (1934).
1938 Death of Fanny Trefethen
Aunt Fanny, whose savings helped pay for Marory's studies at Wellesley College and who was the only relative to visit her there, died in 1938.
Suspension of the Everglades National Park Commission
After the appointments of the Everglades National Park Commission members were not renewed, the group stoped its work for 8 years (1938).
1941 Death of Judge Frank Stoneman
Frank Stoneman, Marjory's father and long time editor of the Miami Herald, died in 1941. Marjory Stoneman Douglas was 51
1942 Short Story Lectures
Marjory Stoneman Douglas presented "The Rise and Fall of the Short Story" at the tenth annual University of Miami Winter Institute of Literature (1942).
1946 Reconstitution of the Everglades National Park Commission
Florida Governor, Millard F. Caldwell, reestablished the Everglades National Park Commission. One of the group's new mandates was the purchase of privately owned land located within the park (1946).
1947 "The Everglades: River of Grass"
Publication of " The Everglades: River of Grass" by Rinehart publisher. 7,500 copies were printed in November and sold out by Christmas. 5,000 more copies were printed. The Reader's Digest also purchased the first chapter of the book (1947).
Everglades National Park Offical Dedication in 1947
Dedication of the Everglades National Park by President Truman, 18 years after Ernest Coe's initiative. Ernest Coe served as Chairman of the Tropic National Park Committee and David Fairchild was President. Mrs. Ruth Bryan Owen, the first elected congresswoman from Florida, sponsored the bill in Congress.
1948 Slum Clearance Activism
Marjory Stoneman Douglas served on the Coconut Grove Slum Clearance Committee under the leadership of Elizabeth Virrick and Rev. Theodore Gibson (1948).
1949 The "Land Ethic"
Publication of "A Sand County Almanac" by Leopold Aldo in which he explained his concept of a "land ethic": "A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of land." (1949)
1950 The Tropical Garden Award
Marjory Stoneman Douglas was awarded the Thomas Barbour Medal for Conservation by Fairchild Tropical Garden (1950).
1951 "Road to the Sun"
Publication of "Road to the Sun" by Rinehart. The book was a fictional account of the South Florida 1920s boom (1951).
1952 Honorary Degree
Received the University of Miami, Litt D., Doctor of Letters (1952).
Garden Clubs Award
Marjory Stoneman Douglas received an Award from the National Council of State Garden Clubs for her "Outstanding contribution to the protection of the Everglades" (1952)
1958 "Hurricane"
Publication of "Hurricane" by Rinehart. Marjory Stoneman Douglas traveled to North Carolina, Jamaica, Martinique and Cuba to research the book (1958).
1959 "Alligator Crossing"
Publication of "Alligator Crossing" by J. Day Co. The juvenile work of fiction is about a boy fleeing bulies and his step family to take refuge in the Everglades (1959).
1960 Otto G. Richter Library
"Friends of the University of Miami Library" wass organized by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1960).
University of Miami Press
Marjory Stoneman Douglas became the "Editor of the University of Miami Press". Under her leadership the press published books on local topics. She's 70. (1960)
1962 "Silent Spring"
Publication of "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson who warned against the dangers of the pesticide DDT (1962).
1964 "Florida: the long frontier"
Publication of "Florida the long frontier" by Harper & Row was a non-fictional account of the state's history (1964).
1967 Research on naturalist W.H. Hudson
She traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina and England--thanks to a traveling fellowship from Wellesley College and a donation of the American Philosophical Society--to research the life and works of naturalist W.H.Hudson. She wass 77 and her vision was failing (1967).
1969 Friends of the Everglades
Foundation of "Friends of the Everglades" to prevent the construction of a jet port that would impede the flow of water in the wetland. The plans for the jetport were abandoned thanks to the efforts of the new environmental group. Marjory Stoneman Douglas was 79 (1969)
Establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and passing of the "Clean Air Act" (1969).
1974 W. H. Hudson and his green world
An essay on the naturalist W. H. Hundson: "W. H. Hudson: Monuments to His Green World" was published in the "Carrell" the Friends of the University of Miami Publication.
Water Legislation
President Ford signed the "Safe Water Act." (1974)
1975 Florida Wildlife Federation Award
1976 Coalition for Water
Foundation of the "Coalition for Water Inc.", a group of 15 Florida conservation organizations (1976).
1977 History Award
Marjory Stoneman Douglas received an award from the American Association of State and Local History "for her career as a conservationist and writer whose efforts have illuminated Florida's national and social history." (1977)
Water Legislation
President Carter signed the "Clean Water Act." (1977)
Wellesley Award
Marjory Stoneman Douglas was the recipient of the Wellesley College "Alumnae Achievement Award" (1977)
1979 Honorary Degree
Florida Atlantic University "Doctor of Humane Letters" (1979)
1981 Building Dedication
The Department of Natural Resources Building in Tallahassee, Florida was renamed "The Marjory Stoneman Douglas building." (1981)
1983 Honorary Degree
Queens College, "Doctor of Humane Letters" (1984)
Save the Everglades
Governor Bob Graham initiated the "Save the Everglades" program (1983).
1984 Honorary Degree
Florida International University "Doctor of Humane Letters" (1984).
1985 Miami Herald Award
The Miami Herald Spirit of Excellence "Lifetime Achievement Award" (1985)
1986 Hall of Fame
Induction into the 1986 Florida Women's Hall of Fame (1986).
Wetland Protection
Creation of the "EPA Office of Wetlands Protection" (1986)
1987 Marjory Stoneman Douglas' Autobiography
Publication of "Voice of the River", an autobiography by Marjory Stoneman Douglas and John Rothschild (1987).
1989 Honorary Degree
St. Thomas University, "Doctor of Humane Letters"
1991 Marjory and Everglades legislation
Passage of the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Protection Act" to restore the Everglades (1991).
1992 Marjory's House
The State of Florida purchased Marjory Stoneman's house in Coconut Grove and set it up as a living trust (1992).
1993 The Medal of Freedom
Marjory Stoneman Douglas was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Clinton (1993).
1994 Everglades Forever Act
Passage of the "Everglades Forever Act" by the Florida Legislature for the preservation and restoration of the nutrients necessary for the delicate balance of flora and fauna in the Florida Everglades (1994).
1997 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness
1.3 million acres of the Everglades officially named "Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness" (1997)
1998 Death of Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Marjory Stoneman Douglas died at the age of 108 in her home in Coconut Grove (1998).