‘Jeopardy!’ Celebrates ‘National Arbor Day’ Dropping Wildly Cool Fun Fact

by Jennifer Shea
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“Jeopardy!” is celebrating National Arbor Day by doing what “Jeopardy!” does best: dropping some cool fun facts.

In an Instagram post Friday, the game show shared some interesting trivia about Arbor Day. And that included an almost unbelievable fact about a contest held on the very first Arbor Day.

“The first Arbor Day was celebrated in April 1872 when Nebraska’s Board of Agriculture held a contest to see who could plant the most trees,” the “Jeopardy!” Instagram account posted. “The winner was J.D. Smith of Lincoln, who planed one every second for nearly 10 hours, totaling 33,550 trees.”

Arbor Day Dates Back to 1872

Arbor Day derives from the Latin word for tree, “arbor,” and it is usually celebrated on the final Friday in April every year.

The founder of the holiday was Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraska newspaper editor, according to History.com. In fact, Morton was the editor of the state’s very first newspaper, the Nebraska City News, which he used to get across the message that trees are ecologically important.

In January of 1872, Morton suggested designating a day on which all Nebraskans could plant trees in their neighborhoods. The Nebraska Board of Agriculture agreed to the idea. Initially, the holiday was going to be called Sylvan Day in honor of forest trees, but Morton was adamant that the day should honor all trees. Thus began Arbor Day.

‘Jeopardy!’ Is In the Midst of a String of Guest Hosts

Meanwhile, when it’s not celebrating Arbor Day, “Jeopardy!” has been busy inviting a string of celebrities to guest-host the show while producers search for a permanent replacement for late host Alex Trebek.

Trebek died of stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, 2020. He was 80 years old. The legendary “Jeopardy!” host passed away peacefully at his home with his family and friends by his side.

The first guest host to follow Trebek was “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings. After him came “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards. Then it was former “Today” show co-host Katie Couric. After her, “Dr. Oz Show” host Dr. Mehmet Oz guest-hosted. Following him was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is currently guest-hosting the show. After him comes “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker, former “Jeopardy!” champion Buzzy Cohen and actress Mayim Bialik. “Today” show co-host Savannah Guthrie will host from June 14 to June 25. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will follow her from June 28 to July 9.

Moreover, “Jeopardy!” recently announced some new additions to its guest host lineup. Following Gupta are George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber and Joe Buck.

Looks like “Jeopardy!” producers are in no major hurry to settle on a permanent host. In the meantime, fans can enjoy a rotating roster of celebrities – some of whom have expressed interest in the permanent hosting gig, but many of whom may want to keep their lucrative day jobs.

Outsider.com