The Shirley Historical Society will present a celebration of conservationist Benton MacKaye’s birthday Saturday, March 7, starting at 2 p.m., at the Shirley Senior Center, 9 Parker Road.
Born March 6, 1879, MacKaye gained fame as a pioneer in the professions of forestry, regional planning and conservation. Best known as the father of the Appalachian Trail, he spent his boyhood and summers in Shirley and retired there in 1945, where he died in 1975 at age 96.
Featured in the program will be the first public airing of a rare audio recording made at his 95th birthday party in 1974, in which MacKaye recalled his boyhood in Shirley, told some of his campfire stories, and recited dramatic selections.
MacKaye memorabilia from the society’s collections will be on display.
The program takes place across the street from the three houses associated with MacKaye’s life in Shirley. Cake and ice cream will be served. Admission is free with donations gratefully accepted. For more information, visit www.shirleyhistory.org.