One of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling’s most famous cartoons, published Sept. 9, 1927, cemented the artist’s concern for ducks, which culminated in his creation of the Federal Duck Stamp program in 1934. Titled “What Does Mere Man Know about the Perils of Non-Stop Flight?,” the cartoon recognized the need to create resting places for migratory birds. Considered prophetic in his time about issues that would affect our nation and the world, Darling later laid the foundation, as chief of the precursor to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, for the national wildlife refuge system, which today oversees more than 560 refuges. At J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which he created, ducks, duck stamps, and Darling’s birthday (Oct. 27) get celebrated during “Ding” Darling Days, Oct. 20.
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