American Horticultural Society History
How We Got Started
AS THE American Horticultural Society enters its 100th year, it’s instructive to place the organization’s founding in some historical context. In 1922, insulin was first successfully used to treat diabetes; Benito Mussolini became prime minister of Italy; the Egyptian tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened by British archaeologists; James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses was published; and U.S. President Warren G. Harding made the first ever presidential speech broadcast on radio.
It was in this period between the two great wars and prior to the Great Depression that two separate groups of idealistic gardeners— both professionals and amateurs—came together to form an organization dedicated to improving horticulture in America both as a science and an art form. The originating organizations were the American Horticultural Society (AHS) and the National Horticultural Society (NHS), which were founded the same year in Washington, D.C., and Henning, Minnesota, respectively. Continue reading for more of the AHS story.