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Progressive Reform

1870s - 1910s

1864 New York Council of Hygiene of the Citizens Association mounts a campaign to raise housing and sanitary standards. (Housing)
1879 "Progress and Poverty" published. Influential book. Henry George makes argument for reducing extremes of national wealth and poverty by means of a single land tax that would capture the "unearned increment" of national dev for public uses. (Landmark Pub)
1887 Mugler vs. Kansas - the US Supreme Court ruled that the courts have the duty to strike down local laws that do not have a real or substantial relation to the police power: to protect the health, safety, welfare and morals of the community. (Lankmark Laws)
1890 "How the Other Half Lives" - by Jacob Riis, is published. A powerful stimulus to housing and neighborhood reform. (Landmark Publication, Housing)
1891 General Land Law Revision Act. Gave the president power to create forest reserves by proclamation. (Conservation and Environ., Landmark Laws)
1892 Sierra Club founded to promote the protection and preservation of the natural environment. John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, and a major figure in the history of American environmentalism, was the leading founder. (Conservation and Env.)
1896 Unites States vs. Gettysburg Electric Railway Co. The first significant legal case concerning historic preservation. The US Supreme Court rules that the acquisition of the national battlefield at Gettysburg served a valid public purpose. (Landmark Laws)
1897 Forest Management Act. Authorized some control by the Secretary of the Interior over the use and occupancy of the forest preserves. (Con and Env., Landmark Laws)
1898 "Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform", by Ebenezer Howard. A source of the Garden City Movement. Reissued in 1902 as "Garden Cities of Tomorrow". (Landmark Publication)
1898 Gifford Pinchot becomes Chief Forester of the United States in the Dept. of Agriculture. From this position he publicizes the cause of forest conservation. (Conservation and Env.)
1901 New York State Tenement House Law. The legislative basis for the revision of the city codes that outlawed tenements such as the "Dumbell Tenement". Lawrence Veiller was the leading reformer. (Housing, Landmark Laws)
1902 U.S. Reclamation Act. Created fund from sale of public land in the arid states to supply water there through the construction of water storage and irrigation works. (Con and Env., Landmark Laws, Econ Dev)
1893 World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. Commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World. A source of the City Beautiful Movement and the urban planning profession. Daniel Burnham primary planner - "White City" = idyllic city.
1906 Antiquities Act. First law to institute federal protection for preserving archaeological sites. Provided for designation as national Monuments areas already in the public domain that contained "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures", etc
1907 Founding of New York Committee on the Congestion of Population. Fostered movement, led by its secretary, Benjamin Marsh, to decentralize New York's dense population.
1908 White House Conservation Conference. State governors, federal officials, and leading scientists assemble to deliberate about the conservation of natural resources.
1909 Possibly the first course in city planning in this country is inaugurated in Harvard College's Landscape Architecture Dept. Taught by James Sturgis Pray.
1907 President Roosevelt establishes an Inland Waterway Commission to encourage multipurpose planning in waterway development: navigation, power, irrigation, flood control, water supply.
1909 Daniel Burnham's "Plan of Chicago" published. First metropolitan plan in the US. Key figures: Frederick A. Delano, Charles Wacker, Charles Dyer Norton
1909 First National Conference on City Planning in Washington DC
1911 Frederick Winslow Taylor publishes "The Principles of Scientific Management", fountainhead of the efficiency movements in this country, including efficiency in city government.
1912 Walter D. Moody's "Wacker's Manual of the Plan of Chicago" is adopted as an eighth-grade textbook on city planning by the Chicago Board of Education. Possibly the first formal instruction in city planning below the college level.
1913 A chair in Civic Design, first if its kind in the US, is created in the University of Illinois's Dept. of Horticulture for Charles Mulford Robinson, on of the principal promoters of the World's Columbian Exposition.
1914 Flavel Shurtleff writes "Carrying Out the City Plan", the first major textbook on city planning.
1914 Panama Canal completed and opened to world commerce.
1914 Harland Bartholomew, eventually the country's best known planning consultant, becomes the first full-time employee in Newark, New Jersey, of a city planning commission.
Created by: jlongabaugh