salutes sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide, WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor. On the flip side, Knapp said, there’s still a lack of transparency and people still don’t know how pollution is affecting them. “We’ve got a lot of people who don’t believe in science, the effort on global warming is not doing very well,” he said. Politicians and businesses wanted to be associated with this new environmental movement. The situation is different today, she said. You can’t argue that the Delaware and the Schuylkill are much cleaner than they were back then as well,” said Christine Knapp, director of Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability. Furia and Librach convinced the chamber to ditch their negative ads and instead, become a member of the Earth Week Committee, giving them an opportunity to express their concern for the environment. “This is what keeps the sun from shining on Philadelphia,” the narrator said as images of soot and smoke pour out of industrial chimneys. WHYY connects you to your community and the world by delivering reliable information and worthwhile entertainment. American Dream performs at the Earth Day Rally at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park on April 22,1970. Philadelphia radio stations, which provided the Earth Week Committee free air time to do it,  played the spot hundreds of times every day the week prior to and including Earth Week. Earth Week, April 16-22, originated in Philadelphia in 1970. She performed it again the following day, Earth Day itself, in Fairmount Park for a crowd of an estimated 40 to 60,000. April 22, 1970 — the first Earth Day — marks the birth of the environmental movement responsible for getting lead out of our homes, raw sewage out of our drinking water and toxins out of our air. Aside from the revenue generated from businesses, the committee got participating companies to publish the specific pollutants they were dumping into the air and into the river. “I think there’s a lot more that could be going on and could be done and isn’t being done.”. He spoke to the Woodstock-looking crowd at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park. Temple University Libraries). NPR's Morning Edition takes listeners around the country and the world with two hours of multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform, challenge and occasionally amuse. “Many of the interventions, the rain gardens, the green infrastructure that’s being built around Philadelphia was a direct result of the people that were involved and were students at Penn that went on to have careers as planners and designers.”. All photos provided herein © 1970 Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia. (Special Collections Research Center. Einhorn, 79, died recently of natural causes in state prison. Then, they struck a deal with the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, which had originally raised some funds to run ads against Earth Week in a local newspaper. Once businesses make their pollution data available, the Philadelphia Health Department also agreed to release data of the city’s top 10 polluters. But Librach convinced him not too. She performed it again the following day, Earth Day itself, in Fairmount Park for a crowd of an estimated 40 to 60,000. First, the committee got $10,000 from Philadelphia Gas Works, the city’s gas utility. Poet Allen Ginsberg waits backstage at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, on Earth Day, April 22, 1970. “He is not telling the truth,” they said. But in the semester leading up to the first Earth Day, McHarg inspired Librach, a 19-year-old regional planning student at that time, to direct the planning committee. April 22 1970 april 22 1970 earth day leader killed posted ira einhorn is not the founder of earth day discover chestnut hill earth day turns What S Lost Since Philly Amazing 1970 Earth Week Will BunchNo Ira Einhorn Is Not The Founder Of Earth DayEarth Day At 50 Why The Legacy Of 1970s EnvironmentalEarth… Read More » Ira Einhorn, an environmental activist later convicted of murdering and composting his ex-girlfriend and known as “The Unicorn Killer” was involved in the organization of Philly’s Earth Week, but he was not one of its founders. Environmental groups say they’re committing to racial equity. What does that mean? It all ended with Librach and Furia dismissing his claims on an op-ed published by The Inquirer in 1998. Pa. coronavirus update: No new mitigation efforts planned — for the moment, ‘We really want to avoid a lockdown’: Delco officials warn of COVID-19 surge overwhelming hospitals, ‘Swamp Hotel’ bought by New Castle County for $19.5M to serve homeless people. “That came up a lot in the conversations around the refinery closure, people not really knowing what was in the air that they were breathing,” Knapp said. “One of the biggest Earth Day observances was in Philadelphia,” CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite said in a widely viewed 1970 documentary about the international action. Below is a radio spot that was created by legendary Philadelphia ad man Elliott Curson to advertise Earth Day, which includes a sample of the song. I’m Red and Blue.Wind the smoke replacesThe Factory Wastes Fish KillThe Eye of the Sun is Closing, In Shame at the Sight of ProgressLost in a World That’s not Really Me.Living on Like this Makes me Red and Blue.Crush of Steel and ConcreteHard and Cold NOt WarmA Beautiful Land is DyingWhat thanks to the Earth that Feeds ThemGone is the Life thatGod Meant to BeNothing Left that’s FreeOh! “Red and Blue” by RedboneRiver, Tree and MountainFree in Time and SpaceA Day in the Red DominionTo Hunt on the Plains of FreedomGone is the Life that GodMeant for MeNothing left that’s FreeOh! Philadelphia can thank that Earth Week-inspired intellectual revelation for some of the city’s most beloved public spaces, the dean said. Beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg and a Native American rock band from California called Redbone, as well as prominent scientists, politicians, artists, ecologists, and others came to Philly to attend the rally. Frederick Steiner, dean of the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design and co-executive director of The McHarg Center, says that the late professor’s Earth Week work continues to shape the environmental movement. The group expanded to other colleges and community-based organizations. “Sulfur Dioxide” is one of the songs that “Hair” cast member Sally Eaton (above) performed at Independence Mall on April 21st, 1970. “It was a big, big deal,” recalled Austan Librach, chairman of the Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia, who later created environmental departments for local government in Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. “I would have to say that that moment — when we realized we would get specific data as to who was putting what pollution where — was the most important moment during the entire four-month Earth Week initiative,” Furia said in his accounting of the history. “An estimated 20,000 to 40,000 persons gathered in perfect weather in the city’s largest park. The $30,000 deal raised concerns from activists saying it would limit their capacity to protest against big pollutants, such as the refineries. The History of the First Earth Day and the 1970 Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia | Official Site. “That’s one of the key lessons and especially important in these days of the pandemic.”. The annual celebration and political action it inspired helped Philadelphia become a city where it’s possible to run on the river without choking on smog and drink tap water without fear. That major success was keynoted by U.S. It was an Earth Day success story, a major demonstration in a major city.”. Senator Edmund Muskie, who introduced the Clean Air Act of 1970 and worked on the Clean Water Act in 1972. Land preservation and environmental advocacy nonprofits are largely white, despite the ties between racial injustice, economic inequity, environmental degradation. No one will be celebrating Earth Day on Belmont Plateau this year because of the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down the nation. The first Philadelphia Earth Day event, created by a committee of students mostly from the University of Pennsylvania, was held in Fairmount Park. It was created by an ad hoc committee of students, professionals, leaders of grass roots organizations and businessmen concerned about the environment and inspired by Senator Gaylord Nelson’s call for a national environmental teach-in (see History section) which became known as Earth Day. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.. Fifty years ago this week, Philadelphia hosted the first Earth Week at Fairmount Park’s Belmont Plateau. This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. “One of the things they did was a Declaration of Interdependence — an activity to call attention to how everything is connected to everything else here on earth,” Steiner said. It was actually a group of University of Pennsylvania landscape architecture and regional planning students who started the Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia. The chair of the university’s landscape and planning department, Ian McHarg, had just published “Design with Nature,” a book that radically changed the urban design field to embrace nature. I’m Red and Blue. “In fact, Einhorn was asked to leave several meetings of the organizing committee that he attempted to disrupt. “So much noxious waste is involved that some people here have begun to call their city Filthydelphia,” he said, invoking a nickname still in circulation 50 years later. Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? “Simply put, it became obvious that Earth Week would be stillborn if we couldn’t quickly raise a substantial amount of cash,” said Furia in a published recollection. Exactly 50 years ago today, 20 million Americans gathered in public parks, streets and on college campuses to protest environmental destruction. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story. The informational currency paid out handsomely. The book went on to become a landmark of ecological design and McHarg, an international leader of the environmental movement. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country. committee of students mostly from the University of Pennsylvania Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal. “The Schuylkill River trail from Bartram’s Gardens all the way to Valley Forge,” Steiner said. And a widely seen photo of him on the Belmont Plateau stage in Fairmount fueled the confusion. In-depth, original reporting on housing, transportation, and development. He was not welcome there, nor did he contribute in any material way to the committee’s activities.”. But said he’s disappointed with where things are now. One day earlier, on April 21, 20,000 people had gathered at Independence Mall to hear Ralph Nader talk and watch the whole cast of the Broadway musical Hair perform “The Age of Aquarius” and “Air,” a minor hit that salutes sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. “Armed with such data, denial would no longer be a viable strategy for the city or the polluters.”. It’s a strange moment to talk about progress. Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Below are the haunting lyrics to the song “Red and Blue” (written and performed by lead singer Lolly Vasquez), which evokes the image of a Native American expressing sorrow about the destruction of the environment. Others included presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Penn Professor of Landscape Architecture Ian McHarg, Nobel prize winner George Wald, Senator Hugh Scott, Poet Allen Ginsberg, and the Broadway cast of Hair.Shorter footage with sound available from CBS news: