Thursday, April 22, 2010

Forty Years Ago Today in Brooklyn: The First Earth Day in Prospect Park on April 22, 1970

On Earth Day four years ago, Louise Crawford, the doyenne of Brooklyn bloggers kindly published our diary entry about the first Earth Day in Prospect Park on Wednesday, April 22, 1970. We'd like to reprint it forty years later:

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.

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