Education: Absent Guest of Honor

Cornell University was all set to give a birthday party. Banquets and speeches were all arranged; many of the guests had been invited up to Ithaca. But everything had to be postponed: the birthday boy was nowhere around. Liberty Hyde Bailey, when last heard from, was somewhere in the West Indies, wandering through jungles in search of rare plants and palms. And not even his goth birthday would bring him back from such an expedition.

Hundreds at Cornell know "Lib" Bailey, the nation's most eminent horticulturist, as an erect, white-haired man whom they used to see dragging strange bushes and branches across...

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