Though Silent Spring had generated a fairly high level of interest based on pre-publication promotion, this became more intense with its serialization, which began in the June 16, 1962, issue. This brought the book to the attention of the chemical industry and its lobbyists, as well as the American public. Around that time, Carson learned that Silent Spring had been selected as the Book-of-the-Month for October; she said this would "carry it to farms and hamlets all over that country that don't know what a bookstore looks like—much less The New Yorker ."  Other publicity included a positive editorial in The New York Times and excerpts of the serialized version were published in Audubon Magazine . There was another round of publicity in July and August as chemical companies responded. The story of the birth defect-causing drug thalidomide had broken just before the book's publication, inviting comparisons between Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey , the Food and Drug Administration reviewer who had blocked the drug's sale in the United States. 
Lieutenant Commander Allan D. Brown first proposed the idea for an essay contest sponsored by the . Naval Institute for "a paper which shall be deemed the best" on 9 May 1878 at the organization's meeting in Annapolis. The first contest was in 1879. The name of the contest was changed in 1985 to the Arleigh Burke Essay Contest in honor of the World War II hero, former Chief of Naval Operations, and President of the Naval Institute. The name reverted to the General Prize in 2008. Today, the prizes honor the first, second, and third best articles published in Proceedings over the previous year, from October through September of the succeeding year.