Rated one of Pennsylvania's top blog/sites, the LuLac Political Letter delves into issues of politics on all levels (with special concentration on Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties: thus the name LULAC) and pop culture.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The LuLac Edition #1159, Apr. 22nd, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: EARTH WEEK POSTER FROM 1970, WISCONSIN SENATOR GAYLORD NELSON, ONE OF THE FIRST PROPONENTS OF EARTH DAY.
EARTH DAY 40 YEARS ON
I was in high school during the first Earth Day. It was an exciting time to be a young observer of all things political and cultural in this nation. As a kid I used to bring home those Arbor Day plants that grew into a virtual forest in our backyard. With Vietnam raging and the protests against it constantly on our radar, Earth Day was something tangible and hopeful we could celebrate, aspire to. 4 decades have passed and even though more work needs to be done and there are an abundance of littering slobs living in LuLac land, there is awareness and action regarding our environment. 4 decades after the first Earth Day, we still have a long way to go, but can look to the fact that thank goodness we haven't regressed. Let's continue.
Here's a brief history of the first Earth Day, 1970: Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced his idea for a nationwide teach-in day on the environment in a speech to a fledgling conservation group in Seattle on 20 September1969, and then again six days later in Atlantic City to a meeting of the United Auto Workers. Senator Nelson hoped that a grassroots outcry about environmental issues might prove to Washington, D.C. just how distressed Americans were in every constituency. Senator Nelson invited Republican Representative Paul N “Pete” McCloskey to serve as his co-chair and they incorporated a new non-profit organization, environmental Teach-In, Inc., to stimulate participation across the country. Both continued to give speeches plugging the event.On September 29, 1969, in a front-page New York Times article, Gladwin Hill wrote: "Rising concern about the "environmental crisis" is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems, analogous to the mass demonstrations on Vietnam, is being planned for next spring, when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned". It turned out that Nelson's suggestion was difficult to implement, as the Earth Day movement proved to be autonomous with no central governing body. As Senator Nelson said, it simply grew on its own: "Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself."
CBS News Special Report with Walter Cronkite reported on Earth Day 1970.On April 22 1970, Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, Freeway and expressway revolts, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. Media coverage of the first Earth Day included a One-hour special from CBS News, "Earth Day: A Question of Survival," with correspondents reporting from a dozen major cities across the country, and narrated by Walter Cronkite. Here's part of that broadcast:
And then of course there was Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" popular at the time and used as a clarion call for such activities as "Earth Day".
Location: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Author of the book "A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors" and "Leges Vitae" "26 Rules of Life" and the new novel, "Weather Or Knot". The blog editor also writes various news articles and columns as well as upcoming literary projects. The blog editor was a frequent guest on WYOU TV'S INTERACTIVE NEWSCASTS when political issues were discussed on the national, state and local level. Currently, Yonki is a weekly panelist on WYLN TV 35's Friday Topic A program. He also appears on the Hazleton, PA. stations Election Night coverage and does special projects and stories for WYLN TV 35's 10PM Newscast "Late Edition".