Today In History: Protecting the Bald Eagle

Today In History: Protecting the Bald Eagle


Given time--time not in years but in millennia--life adjusts, and a balance has been reached. For time is the essential ingredient; but in the modern worl there is no time.

-- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, p.6.

In the 1960s use of the synthetic insecticide DDT began to diminish after awareness was raised by the publication of Rachel Carson's influential book Silent Spring; Carson, a marine biologist, conservationist and writer, revealed the devastating results of DDT to bird populations, including the bald eagle.  Ingesting DDT via mosquitoes flees, and other insects,  caused birds to lay thin shelled eggs, easily and prematurely broken in nests. Fewer eggs meant fewer eagles -- rendering the species in danger of extinction.

By 1972 DDT was banned  in the United States, and other countries followed suit. Groups and organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund pushed for federal legislation to protect endangered species -- leading to the Endangered Species Act of 1973. From 487 nesting pairs of eagles in the 1960s, to more than 11,000 in 2007, came success in protecting the livelihood and future of our emblematic bird. On June 28th, 2007, the bald eagle was no longer deemed at risk. A technical update in 2020 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided the latest estimates for the bald eagle population in the lower 48 states -- totaling 316,700 individuals and including 71,467 occupied nests.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.







  • Bald Eagle and Eaglet, Courtesy of Canva
  • Bald Eagle Perched on a Tree, Courtesy of Canva

Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check additional Cafe News postings on the library blog.

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