Rachel Carson: Chronology of Events Leading to the Writing of Silent Spring


The chronology of events leading up to the writing of 'Silent Spring' by Rachel Carson.



  • July 15 -- Wrote letter to Reader's Digest proposing an article about DDT's effects on nature. Letter rejected.


  • Adopted her grandnephew, Roger Christie, after the death of his mother.

May 1957

  • Long Island case in which counties were suing to stop the government from spraying their land.


  • January -- Olga Huckins wrote a letter to Carson describing the detrimental effects of pesticides on her bird sanctuary.
  • Stopped Reader's Digest from publishing pesticide article about beneficial aerial spraying.
  • February 7 -- E.B. White suggested she write the magazine article about the Long Island case.
  • February -- Decided to write a magazine article, possibly a brief book.
  • December -- Mother died.


  • Hired Jeanne Davis as an assistant.


  • Spring -- Learned she had malignant cancer.


  • June 16 -- New Yorker publishes first of series of excerpts from Silent Spring.
  • Fall -- Silent Spring published.