About 60 visitors to the Rachel Carson House in Silver Spring this past weekend celebrated the legacy of the environmentalist who 50 years ago published “Silent Spring,” the influential book credited with helping to launch the environmental movement.
Carson wrote the book in the house, where she lived from 1957 until her death in 1964. Since 2002, the Rachel Carson House has served as the headquarters of the Rachel Carson Council.
The event included speakers Martha Freeman, who knew Carson as a neighbor in Maine, toxic chemical expert Dr. Aaron Blair and U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Julie Devers, who discussed environmental issues.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for people to take their time and learn about important information,” said Rachel Carson Council President Diana Post. Post and her husband bought the house, on Berwick Road near New Hampshire Avenue, in 1996. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1991.
The book detailed harmful effects of pesticides on the environment and gained widespread attention. In 1972, the pesticide DDT was banned in the U.S. The Rachel Carson Council was founded in 1965 to continue Carson’s work, Post said.
“Once “Silent Spring” was out, people had a lot of questions and a lot of personal issues,” Post said. “[Carson] wanted an organization to carry on her work of responding to people’s questions and concerns.”