Bailey Birth Site Dedication
   Gardening Horticulture Stamp
   Pomological Society Medal
   L.H.B. at 3 East Avenue
   L.H.B. at Work at 62
   32nd Cornell Dinner Menu
   90th Birthday Dinner Menu
   Words Said about a Birthday
NY State College of Agriculture
Cornell University
Nature Study
Education of Women
Commission on Country Life

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Liberty Hyde Bailey: A Man for All Seasons

Born on a farm in Michigan in 1858, Liberty Hyde Bailey graduated from the Michigan Agricultural College with a degree in botany. After working with the renowned botanist Asa Gray at Harvard, he returned to Michigan to teach horticulture and landscape gardening. In 1888, he came to Cornell to build a new curriculum in practical and experimental horticulture. With state funding, he also began a program at Cornell to teach nature study in rural schools. Through extension bulletins, lectures, demonstrations, and farm visits, Bailey built support for his programs among New York State farmers and in the State Legislature.

In 1904, the Legislature passed a bill establishing the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell, and Liberty Hyde Bailey became its first dean. In that role, he established new departments to complement existing fields of study, and appointed Cornell’s first women professors. In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to chair a presidential Country Life Commission.

Bailey retired from Cornell in 1913, but continued his scientific, practical, and philosophical pursuits, and made his home in Ithaca for the rest of his life. He wrote and edited numerous books, from textbooks to essays and poems. He traveled extensively on botanical collecting trips, and continued his studies of palms, blackberries, grapes, cabbages, pumpkins and squashes. During his lifetime, he received innumerable awards and honors. Liberty Hyde Bailey died in 1954 at the age of ninety-six.

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