In a time when Manifest Destiny was the holy inspiration that justified violating every natural and indigenous thing from Illinois to the Pacific coast, as well as naively believing that the natural resources of America were "a million times infinity," Muir envisioned cordoning off natural areas of exceptional beauty or interest so that they could remain in their pure state, hopefully forever. You know, so that people could experience them rather than try to figure out a way to sell them.
Congress ended up following almost all of his recommendations for protecting Yosemite, something that is unimaginable today. "Who let Father Time in?" "That's John Muir, the guy who's been spamming us from the forest!" (paraphrased)
I also enjoy his crazy inventions, such as with the alarm and pulley system that pulled him from his bed at 3 in the morning during his adolescent years. 16 hour workdays on the family farm afforded no spare time to study academics, but little JM wanted to go to college. The punishing effects of his day laboring made it extremely difficult for him to rouse himself on his own. The alarm system afforded him an hour to study in the mornings, and he did finally enroll at Wisconsin-Madison when he was 22.
look how cute he was!!!
*John Muir Day isn't really a thing, but the anniversary of Yosemite's protection was yesterday so it just seems right, or would if I had posted this yesterday.
Welp apparently jk, there IS a John Muir day, but it's on his birthday, and the only people who observe it are...The Sierra Club.