First Earth Day: News Coverage on April 22, 1970

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NBC Today Show
Frank Blair
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NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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NBC News coverage of a range of demonstrations and protests in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Miami on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970--and a scientist's prescient warning of global warming.



"First Earth Day: News Coverage on April 22, 1970." Frank Blair, correspondent. NBC Today Show. NBCUniversal Media. 22 Apr. 1970. NBC Learn. Web. 3 November 2018.


Blair, F. (Reporter). (1970, April 22). First Earth Day: News Coverage on April 22, 1970. [Television series episode]. NBC Today Show. Retrieved from


"First Earth Day: News Coverage on April 22, 1970" NBC Today Show, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 04/22/1970. Accessed Sat Nov 3 2018 from NBC Learn:


First Earth Day: News Coverage on April 22, 1970

FRANK BLAIR, reporting:

Earth Day demonstrations began in practically every city and town in the United States this morning, the first massive nation-wide protest against the pollution of the environment. The outcry took enumerable forms: some students went to school wearing gas masks, the automobile was banned in parts of some cities including New York, Miami planned a dead orange parade, skywriting planes were ordered out to inscribe the word “air” over Los Angeles. In Jamestown, New York, the Kiwanis Club arranged to dump twenty tons of sand in a downtown area to show just how much dirt falls in one square mile of the city during just thirty days of maximum air pollution.

In Washington, the House and Senate adjourned for the day. Practically every senator and congressman was off to make speeches on the year’s most popular and least risky election issue. But there was a pre-Earth Day rally in New York’s Wall Street and Senator Jacob Javitz voicing the concern of many national leaders cautioned against letting pollution overwhelm other vital national issues.

Sen. JACOB JAVITZ (R – New York): …concern, that this fight against environmental and physical pollution is so popular that it will tout us all, to use a New York phrase, it will tout us all, the long-standing and at least equal vital effort to deal with poverty, alienation, racial tensions, the gross inadequacy of health services, education, housing, and intelligent population control and the ending of the war in Vietnam.

BLAIR: The Wall Street crowds broke into song to express their protest and later today to show concern for automobile pollutants, New York will close part of famed Fifth Avenue to auto traffic. And Mayor Lindsay was keeping appointments in an electric car. In Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was signed, demonstrators at another pre-Earth Day rally signed a so-called Declaration of Interdependence, dramatizing a point that every man depends on his fellows and on nature to help keep the environment livable.

Two thousand ghetto residents were boycotting another Philadelphia rally today arguing that the nation’s new-found infatuation with the environment has distracted attention from the misery from the poor.

This morning there was an awesome Earth Day warning from a government scientist in remarks prepared for the American geophysical union in Washington, Dr. Jay Murray Mitchell, said “pollution and over-pollution unless checked could so warm the Earth in 200 hundred years as to create a greenhouse effect melting the Arctic Ice Cap and flooding vast areas of the world.”