In 1999 Time magazine named Carson one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, and this year the National Women's History Project is honoring 100 women for "taking the lead to save our planet" (for the full list, go to NWHP.org), with Carson as the "iconic model." Today her birthplace in Springdale, Pennsylvania, is home to the Rachel Carson Homestead (RachelCarsonHomestead.org), a nonprofit education center and museum that holds such annual events as Rachel's Sustainable Feast (May 24). Silent Spring has remained in print for 47 years, and Carson's message that we should seek to coexist with nature, not conquer it, is as relevant as ever.
"She brought us back to a fundamental idea lost to an amazing degree in modern civilization: the interconnection of human beings and the natural environment," wrote then vice president Al Gore in his introduction to the 1994 edition. "This book...for the first time illuminated what is arguably the most important issue of our era."