Most people only get one day to be celebrated in their name, Johnny Appleseed gets two, March 11th and September 26th! That’s because He was born on the 26th (1774) and supposedly died on March 11th (1845). No one seems to know exactly when he passed on so the March 11th celebration may not be exactly right.
This is not the only controversy concerning John Chapman (Appleseed’s real name). There is no doubt that he did spread the use of apple orchards starting in western New York and Pennsylvania. He went West, which back then was Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. The controversy comes in where he gave away the seedlings for free, but later came back and claimed that since he had planted the orchards originally, they belonged to him even though he did not own the land.
He was a very religious man, he preached at ever place he stopped. He did not take money and went barefoot most of the time. He wore a pan for a hat and generally wore ragged clothes. While at least some of this shows good intent, was he in disguise? we may never know.
Still, he did serve a purpose, which most of us would like to think we could as well. Every time you eat an apple, have a piece of apple pie or look at the apple of your eye, you probably think of Johnny Appleseed, even if subconsciously. That’s a nice way to be remembered.
How to celebrate – Have an apple. Visit an apple orchard. Give a teacher an apple.