September 26th is Johnny Appleseed Day!

You bite into the crisp, fresh red apple and hear the delicious crunch ringing in your ears. The juices dribble down your chin as you smack your lips together in an effort to keep the ginormous bite inside your mouth. You take the end of your sleeve and wipe it across your face, before going back in for another bite of the delectable fruit.

If you love apples, celebrate September 26th in reverence of Johnny Appleseed Day! Johnny Appleseed is one of America’s greatest legends, but many people don’t realize he was a real person.

So celebrate today by learning more about this beloved historical figure, and enjoying some delicious juicy apples.

Johnny Appleseed was originally born John Chapman on September 26th, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts. As an American settler, he was captivated by the movement west across the United States and continent of North America, and chose to be involved by planting apple trees along his travels. He has since become an integral part of American history and mythology, having made apples a U.S. institution.

Chapman worked as a nurseryman and travelled throughout Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Illinois. As he went, he planted nurseries of trees for those in the surrounding area. He would fence in the nursery and leave it in the care of a neighbor, who could then sell shares in the trees. While he charged nothing for the nurseries he left, Chapman would come back every year or two to tend to them.

Personal Life
Chapman was deeply religious and worked as a missionary for some time with The New Church. As he travelled, he spread the gospel to children and adults in the area, and in return, would receive a place to sleep for the night. He quickly became an American legend for his kindness and generosity, leadership in early conservation efforts and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples.

Chapman also had a deep love for animals of all kinds, and has been considered one of the first ethical vegetarians, spending much of his life taking pains to avoid harming wildlife.

End of Life
John Chapman died an American legend on March 11th, 1845. Still, there are debates over his actual death date. Johnny Appleseed Day is celebrated on both September 26th and March 11th, though his birth date has never been disputed.

Today, celebrate Johnny Appleseed and his generous efforts to promote and preserve nature in the United States. Enjoy a crisp and delicious apple—fresh, baked or boiled—and take time to care for your local community, humans and all living beings surrounding you.