Published: 1970
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Washington: Lynda Bird Robb, the seventh daughter of a president to be married in the White House, her husband, Maj. Charles S. Robb, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader arrive at the White House 6/12/1971 for Tricia Nixon’s wedding. The groom, Edward Finch Cox, was once a member of “Nader’s Raiders.” (UPI(Photo)

Announcer: Many people believe the big issue of the '70s will be ecology, the study of the environment and its relationship to human beings and other living things. Ralph Nader, a leader in this field, tells about some rivers and lakes in America.

Ralph Nader: "Lake Erie is now so contaminated you're advised to have a typhoid inoculation before you set sail on some parts of the Lake. Cleveland, takes its Water Supply is deep in the center of the lake. How much long is it going to get away with that? The Buffalo River is so full of petroleum residuals, it's been classified an official fire hazard by the City of Buffalo. We have the phenomena now known of flammable water.

"The Cuyahoga River outside of Cleveland did catch fire last June, burning a base and some bridges. I often wonder what was in the minds of the firemen as they rushed to the scene of the action and pondered how to put -- put this fire out.

"But we're heading in river after river: Connecticut River, Hudson River, Mississippi River, you name it. There's some rivers right outside of Boston, New Hampshire and Maine where if a person fell into 'em, I think he would dissolve before he drowned."

Announcer: More and more in 1970, politicians, businessmen and just plain people became concerned with the direction the world was taking regarding ecology. Industry was criticized severely for polluting the atmosphere, Government was criticized for not demanding more controls for air and water pollution. In April, a day was set aside to call attention to the problems ecology. Fittingly, it was called Earth Day. One of the organizers of the day tells what the purpose was.

Unknown Speaker: "We're going to be focusing an enormous amount of public interest on a whole, wide range of environmental events, hopefully in such a manner that it's going to be drawing the interrelationships between them and, and getting people to look at the whole thing as one consistent kind of picture, a picture of a society that's rapidly going in the wrong direction that has to be stopped and turned around.

"It's going to be an enormous affair, I think. We have groups operating now in about 12,000 high schools, 2,000 colleges and universities and a couple of thousand other community groups. It's safe to say I think that the number of people who will be participating in one way or another is going to be ranging in the millions."

Announcer: 1970 was a year for women's liberation. You'll hear that story when 1970 in Review continues.