Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Richard Grayson on the First Earth Day: April 22, 1970 in Prospect Park

On Earth Day three years ago, Louise Crawford, the doyenne of Brooklyn bloggers - who is doing a series of workshops on blogging for beginners at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) starting a week from today - kindly published our diary entry about the first Earth Day in Prospect Park on Wednesday, April 22, 1970. We'd like to reprint it on this Earth Day:

A warm & sunny Earth Day. Mark called & asked me to come with him to the Union Square rally. Mayor Lindsay closed off 5th Ave. & 14th St. to traffic & the crowds were enormous.

But I didn't feel like getting into so big a crowd & went by myself to the smaller Prospect Park rally. I parked the car on 8th Ave. & walked to the meadow. A singing group called the Smubbs, dressed as pigs, sang about pollution. They also sang a song to the tune of "Give My Regards to Broadway" that was "Give my regards to Brooklyn / Remember me to Bartel Pritchard Square."

Then Gov. Rockefeller made a speech saying, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the pollution." He had a lot of trouble with hecklers...

Walking back to the car when the rally ended ended, I was stunned to see Rocky waving to me from a bicycle! Too bad I'd used up all my film.

Dad came home and said he was booed by the crowd as he drove through the streets near Union Square and people banged on his Cadillac. The TV reports said the crowds were disappointing.

It remains to be seen what will be done about our environment.

--Richard Grayson

More of our diary entries from age 18, long before the age of blogs, are featured in Dumbo Books' Summer in Brooklyn.

Other Brooklyn pics from 1970 of NYC politicos like Bella Abzug, Paul O'Dwyer, Arthur Goldberg, Basil Paterson, Howard Samuels, Richard Ottinger, Elinor Guggenheimer, Adam Walinsky, et al. can be found on our 2008 Grayson for Congress blog.

1 comment:

runningreflections said...

Hi! I work for the Prospect Park Alliance - we'd love to share this post on Earth Day if that's ok with you. Please let me know - you can reach me at