This city boasts being "the first" for a lot of things: The first World Heritage City in the country. The first escalator built in the U.S. The first hospital.
But Philadelphia was also the first city to host Earth Day back in 1970. In fact, the city devoted an entire week to the environmental cause. And based on historical photos, it looked pretty darn awesome.
Earth Week was organized by a group of local professionals, stakeholders, and graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design. They argued that one day wasn't enough, and organized seven days of events, bringing in speakers like Ralph Nader, Allen Ginsberg, and landscape architect Ian McHarg, the author of Design with Nature and the founder of PennDesign's landscape architecture program.
Along with the speakers, multiple concerts were held throughout the city. The Broadway cast of "Hair" performed at Independence Hall (classic '70s!), and more concerts were held at Fairmount Park.
Even good 'ole Walter Cronkite raved about the Earth Week events, calling it a "success story, a major demonstration in a major city."
Happy Earth Day!
- 10 green projects in Philly you should know about [Curbed Philly]