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42 Years of Earth Days, a Case History in Social Change / Public Affairs, from Marginal to Mainstream to HoHum

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  • Samuel L Waltz Jr
    Today Sunday is the 42nd anniversary of the 1st Earth Day in April 1970. I use Earth Day as an example when I speak about Social Change. With the Cold War
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 22, 2012
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      Today Sunday is the 42nd anniversary of the 1st Earth Day in April 1970. I use Earth Day as an example when I speak about Social Change. With the Cold War threat of the Soviets still burning hot in 1970, and the Vietnam War even hotter at its peak in 1967-70, some Americans were finding their voices on Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Living issues. But the very first Earth Day celebration was largely made up of the "great unwashed," the leftist forces of hippies, anti-war protesters, the civil disobedients, and I'm sure a few Quakers. The gatherings in the first few Earth Days seemed so disreputable that I remember that when I served in US Army CounterIntelligence 1967-70, we watched the gatherings along with the FBI and local police intel groups for subversives and anarchists. Within just 10 years, "green" had achieved such institutional acceptance that by 1980 the DuPont Co. and others like it were celebrating Earth Day, and landmark Clean Air & Water legislation had been enacted by Congress! And the rest, as they say, is History!!

      Samuel L. Waltz Jr., APR, Fellow PRSA
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