VIDEO: for the 42nd Earth Day

earth day flower

April showers on some flowers.

Photo by: Fern Shen

(Cue the Lennon and Ono)
So this is Earth Day. And what have you done . . .
. . . since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970??

Here’s a video featuring Walter Cronkite that shows how CBS covered the inaugural Earth Day on the evening news.

The clip includes an interesting speaker, civil rights leader James L. Farmer Jr., who at that point was assistant secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, appointed during the Nixon administration.

Farmer is speaking here not to the crowd of about 3,000 in front of the Washington Monument, but to a midday crowd of office and government workers at a city park.

“The garbage. The trash. The carbon monoxide. The junk. Who suffers most from it, if it is not the poor?” he thundered to a gathering that CBS said drew fewer than 100 people.

“And it is the poor, especially the ghettoized poor, the black and the brown and the red, who stand to benefit first from any successes in cleaning up the environment.”

Later that year, frustrated by Washington bureaucracy, Farmer quit.


James Farmer. (Photo credit:

James Farmer. (Photo credit:

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