Rachel Carson was born in Pennsylvania in 1907. Starting her career as a writer, she became a marine biologist, culminating in her 1962 book, Silent Spring. With its stark warnings about the dangers of DDT and other chemical pesticides on the food chain, it helped ignite the environmentalist movement.

Carson was by this time a national celebrity, having written two other books about marine life. But her third was the charm, prompting the federal government to take measures against water and air pollution, and turning everyday Americans into ecologists.

In 1953, Carson began an intimate relationship with Dorothy Freeman. They spent summers together for the rest of Carson's life, and when apart, kept in touch with letters.

They eventually destroyed hundreds of letters, so the intensity of their bond would forever be a closely-guarded secret.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Janice Browne.

“The Rainbow Minute” is produced by Judd Proctor and Brian Burns and can be heard every weekday at 7:59am, 12:29pm and 2:59pm on WRIR – 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia, and webcast at wrir.org. It’s also heard internationally on over 200 stations.