PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The not-for-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF) (www.eagles.org) is a major proponent and organizer in establishing American Eagle Day, an annual commemorative event on June 20 to celebrate the bald eagle’s symbolism and dramatic comeback from the brink of extinction.
For over 230 years, the bald eagle has served as the living symbol of all that America stands for: freedom, courage, strength, spirit, independence, democracy and excellence.
On June 20, 1782, our nation's founding fathers placed the image of this majestic bird, which is unique to North America, at the center of the Great Seal of the United States.
On June 20, 2015, the American Eagle Foundation, along with the United States Congress and governors coast to coast, invite U.S. citizens to celebrate American Eagle Day. Americans may do so by remembering the bald eagle’s dramatic recovery, reflecting on its special symbolism, and conducting educational activities and ceremonies (including recognizing American Eagles in their communities—those individuals who exemplify the qualities the bald eagle represents.)
“We once almost lost this precious national treasure due to our own mistakes and neglect. Habitat destruction, illegal shootings, and the use of DDT caused the bald eagle population to drop to less than 500 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states in the early ‘60s,” says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere, “but we the people joined together, rose to the occasion, and vigilantly brought it back to America's lands, waterways and skies.”
There are an estimated 14-15,000 bald eagle pairs in the contiguous United States today. The bald eagle was removed from Endangered Species Act protection in 2007, but it is still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
American Eagle Day was first recognized in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, Tennessee Senators Howard Baker Jr. and Lamar Alexander, as well as celebrity entertainer Dolly Parton.
Since then, governors from more than 45 states have recognized American Eagle Day with special proclamations and documents, giving the United States’ national bird its own official day in those states. The United States Senate and House of Representatives have unanimously passed several American Eagle Day resolutions since 2007.
"On American Eagle Day, and every day, let us continue to treasure and protect the bald eagle all across this great land for future generations to enjoy,” says Cecere, who has been spearheading the effort for two decades.
About the American Eagle Foundation
The American Eagle Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to care for, restore and protect the USA’s living symbol of freedom, the bald eagle, and other birds of prey. The AEF is celebrating its 30th year of carrying out its mission through education, repopulation , conservation and rehabilitation. It is headquartered in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Learn more at www.eagles.org.