environmental action: april 22 newsletter volume 1 number 6

Explore an issue of the newsletter prepared by Environmental Teach-In, Inc. to disseminate ideas for Earth Day activities, provide current news and environmental resources, and publicize the resources and assistance of the national office.

 

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The document at right is an issue of the Environmental Action: April 22 newsletter distributed by Environmental Teach-In, Inc., the office Gaylord Nelson established to help coordinate the Earth Day efforts around the country.  It offers a sampling of the diverse activities local organizers had planned.

The newsletter is a powerful testament to the teach-in’s grassroots character.

Environmental Teach-In, Inc. staff director Denis Hayes took on the role of national coordinator and hired a team of regional coordinators. They envisioned themselves sparking and, to some degree, shaping local action. But when they began work in earnest in January 1970, the grassroots response was so overwhelming that they found it took the lion’s share of their time and energy just to assemble a list of what was already being planned. So, while the national staff went on to be responsible for some key events in major cities, Earth Day was not directed from above.

Nelson had never budgeted for a newsletter, but the staff insisted on it and the United Auto Workers generously offered to fund the endeavor. Civil rights activist Sam Love (pictured here), who served as the national office’s southern coordinator, edited this newsletter. The publication, issued every week between the last day of January and Earth Day 1970, mixed together political cartoons, science journalism, dispatches from Capitol Hill, quotations, and environmental  bibliographies and filmographies.

The most compelling section of Environmental Action: April 22 was “Action Notes,” which shared what the naitonal office had heard was underway in letters from and phone conversations with local organizers.

This edition’s “Action Notes” (newsletter page 3) describes large-scale events like Philadelphia’s Earth Week or Wisconsin students’ button-drive to preserve their state’s Sylvania Wilderness. The “Action Notes” section drummed up enthusiasm, helped organizers exchange ideas, and contributed to the growing nationwide sense that a new environmental movement was afoot.

 

 

 

 


Sources and Credits:

Document Wisconsin Historical Society, Nelson Collection mss1020
Photographs Credit: White House photographer. Source: Wisconsin Historical Society, Nelson Collection mss1020 ph3764.
Research and Text Brian Hamilton
Editor Melanie McCalmont

Rev - 24 January 2010