White House gates installed

Discovery of a set of former White House gates at River Farm by Board member and architectural historian William Seale. Donations secured to have the gates professionally restored. In 2005: the White House gates are used in the entrance display to the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Heat Zone Map developed

Introduction of the AHS Plant Heat Zone Map, developed by AHS President Dr. H. Marc Cathey.

The American Gardener

The American Gardner is the official publication of the American Horticultural Society and is published six times per year. Members receive the magazine both in print and digitally as one of the many benefits of their membership.

First Children’s Gardening Symposium

AHS hosts the first Children’s Gardening Symposium (later renamed the National Children & Youth Garden Symposium), held in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The symposium was organized by AHS Education Coordinator Maureen Heffernan, and sponsored by the W. Atlee Burpee Company. A series of designed children’s gardens is created at River Farm.

AHS purchases River Farm

AHS purchases River Farm as its headquarters through the generosity of philanthropist Enid A. Haupt. The official opening ceremonies are held on May 1, 1974, with First Lady Patricia Nixon and Haupt in attendance.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map developed

The AHS and the AHC cooperate in developing the first published version of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

American Horticultural Congress

The first American Horticultural Congress—a precursor to AHS’s annual conference—was held in Cleveland, Ohio. This meeting also launched “United Horticulture” which came to fruition under the auspices of the American Horticultural Council (AHC), a group affiliated with the AHS. The keynote address was delivered by renowned Cornell University horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey.

Honoring Excellence

Creation of the AHS’s National Award Program, which is now called the Great American Gardeners Awards. Four awards were given in this inaugural year: Horticultural Writing, Professional Award, Teaching Award, and Scientific Award. In 1958, the first Liberty Hyde Bailey Medal is awarded to John Wister by the AHC. This award was integrated into the AHS’s Great American Gardeners Awards program and is now considered the Society’s most prestigious honor, given for lifetime achievements in horticulture.

American Horticultural Society founded

American Horticultural Society (AHS) and National Horticultural Society (NHS) founded in Washington, D.C., and Henning, Minnesota, respectively. The first edition of The National Horticultural Magazine was published in August. These two organizations would merge four years later into the American Horticultural Society.