Walking through the Smithsonian Castle gardens, I spotted a statue of Spencer Fullerton Baird that towered overhead. Who was this man?
Baird (1832-1887) was the Smithsonian’s second secretary and a pioneer in American natural history. He worked at the Smithsonian from 1850-1887 while spending the final nine years as its secretary. During his tenure, the Smithsonian’s natural history specimens increased from 6,000 to two million.