On September 27, 1779, the Continental Congress appoints John Adams as its representative to negotiate treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain. Adams had successfully negotiated an alliance with France a year earlier. Adams would spend much of the next 3 years reporting to the Congress by messenger on the political climate of western Europe. It wasn't until the war began to turn in the colonists' favor in the fall of 1782 that Adams would have a chance to actually negotiate with the British. On September 27, 1962, Rachel Carson's cautionary book "Silent Spring" is published. Originally released as several articles in The New Yorker magazine, the book shed light on the damage that man-made pesticides inflict on the environment, especially DDT (though, contrary to common belief, the book did not call for an outright ban on DDT). A career employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a master's in zoology from Johns Hopkins University, Carson was a leading environmental advocate of the mid-20th century with a number of publications already to her credit. The release of "Silent Spring" is often viewed as the beginning of the modern environmentalist movement in America. On September 27, 1854, a maritime tragedy spawns a noble tradition. The Arctic, a luxurious wooden-hulled Atlantic liner, collides in heavy fog with the iron-hulled steamer Vesta, off the coast of Newfoundland. It would be hard to find a worse performance of duty than that of James Luce, captain of the Arctic. Luce takes none of the precautions common to ships that find themselves fog-bound; he does not reduce speed, he does not post additional lookouts, he does not begin sounding the ship's horn. When his ship consequently rams the Vesta, he assumes the other ship took most of the damage and begins rendering aid, failing to consider that wood will lose in any collision with steel. When his own damage becomes apparent, Luce begins putting his passenger off in lifeboats, but then decides he can make a run for the shallows off Newfoundland and ground the ship rather than lose it completely. In doing so, he manages to actually run over several of his lifeboats and increase the rate at which water is pouring into his damaged vessel. An "every man for himself" state quickly evolves, with crew members seizing the remaining lifeboats from passengers, and killing the one ranking ship's officer who tries to restore order. In the end, the Arctic is lost, along with 322 of the 400 passengers and crew aboard. Luce would attempt to go down with the ship, but survived in a fluke of fate; the crate to which he lashed himself for the trip to Davy Jones' locker was empty and popped to the surface. He is hailed as a hero by the public, but the maritime community is appalled by the crew's performance under duress, and a new policy for disasters at sea is adopted; when a ship must be abandoned, take care of "women and children first."