American Environmental History

Main

Flushing toilets invented

1775

safety elevator invented

1854

Am Soc for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals founded

1867

by Henry Bergh, who later founds the same society for children

first Refrigerated trains

1867

Alaska bought

1867

first city to filter drinking water

1872

Poughkeepsie, NY

Timber Cultures Act

1873

to encourage W expansion;
1/4 of land for planting trees
not successful

"Ecology" coined

1873

by Haeckel

Bernard Fernow as Head of Forestry

1886 - 1898

doubted possibility of limiting clear cutting in US

plate glass invented

1888

large sheets of glass

Transition from horses to vehicles

1890

electric streetcars;
bicycles;
motor cars

United Mine Workers founded

1890

most violent union in the nation

Forest Reserve Act

1891

under President Harrison; withdrew 13 million acres from the public domain for "forest reserves" despite states' opposition

Sierra Club Founded

1892

by John Muir

World's Fair, Chicago

1893

Pinchot publicized his findings

Pinchot urged extension of forest reserves

1896

as a member of President Cleveland's National Forest Commission

Forest Management Act

1897

Pinchot and Muir disagree

Alaska Gold Discovery

1897

US's 1st Forestry School Founded

1898

by Carl Schenck

Pinchot became head of Forestry Division of US

1898

TR Helps forest conservation

1901

Antiquities Act

1903

TR toured Yosemite with Muir;
created 5 new National Parks

Forestry Division became US Forest Service

1905

under Pinchot

Pure Food and Drug Act

1906

under TR, after reading "The Jungle"

Hetch-Hetchy Dam Controversy

1906 - 1910

result of SF Fire

"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair

1906

meatpacking industry

proposal to build Lincoln Hwy

1912 - 1915

Carl Fisher wanted to build a highway from DC to SF

Ludlow Massacre

1914

18 striking miners killed, miners retaliated by shooting up company property and burning nearby company town of Forbes

Frederic Clements "plant communities"

1916

Clements introduced the idea of plant communities

Army's Cross-Country journey

1919

took 2 months;
Eisenhower in the party

Fed Rd Bldg began

1921

Battle of Blair Mt

1921

325 muder charges against WVA miners

invention of "Freon" (CFC)

1928

refrigerators

The Dust Bowl

1933 - 1936

"ecosystem"

1935

by Arthur Tansley

"The Grapes of Wrath"

1939

written by John Steinbeck

"Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

1941

written by James Agee and Walker Evans;
offered a sympathetic view of poor rural southerners

Enrico Fermi's Nuclear Power Experiments

1941

UChicago

concept of food web introduced

1942

by Raymond Lindeman

Atomic bombs in WWII

1945

"The Road to Survival"

1948

by William Vogt
foresaw famine and catastrophe due to overpop

"Our Plundered Planet"

1948

Fairfield Osborne
foresaw famine and catastrophe due to overpop

land ethic

1949

Leopold

Nature Conservancy founded

1951

Cuyahoga R in Cleveland caught fire

1952

Atomic Energy Commission

1953

promoted and regulated nuclear power following Eisenhower's 1953 "atoms for peace" speech in UN

interstate hwy created

1956

under Eisenhower

Price-Anderson Act

1957

regulate safety and encourage use of nuclear power

Alaska Statehood

1959

contraceptive pill invented

1960

Civil Rights Mvmt

1960

"Death and Life of Great Am Cities"

1961

humans thrive in diversity

Silent Spring

1962

Rachel Carson

Free Speech Mvmt at Berkeley

1964

NY blackout encouraged nuclear power

1965

Detroit near nuclear accident

1966

Environmental Defense Fund

1967

Victor Yannacone led the campaign for ban on DDT (achieved 1972)

War on Viet Mvmt

1967

Women's Liberation Mvmt

1967

"The Population Bomb"

1968

Paul Ehrlich

First photos of earth

1968

Cuyahoga R caught fire again

1969

Gay Liberation Mvmt

1969

Natural Resources Defense Council

1970

First Earth Day

1970

EPA created

1970

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

1971

Ban on DDT

1972

Buffalo Creek Flood

1972

wiped out a town (coal debris reserve)

trans-Alaska pipeline (800 miles)

1973

Rowland and Molina research about CFCs and ozone

1973

1st Oil Crisis

1973

"Science" article about acid rain

1974

Alabama near nuclear accident

1975

UMV strike to impede transition to oil

1977

impeded Pres Carter's attempts to replace imported oil with domestic coal

Surface Mining and Reclamation Act

1977

prohibited further permitting for companies with outstanding environmental violations

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

1978

Three Mile Island Incident

1979

Congress banned use of CFCs

1980

Nirenberg Committee Report on acid rain

1984

Chernobyl

1986

Montreal Protocol

1987

James Hansen proposes "global warming" to Congress

1988

Exxon Valdez

1989

"cap and trade" revision to Clean Air Act

1990

Kyoto Protocol

1997

TVA fly ash fiasco

2008

1.1 billion gallons of fly ash (liquid) in reserve flooded town

Presidents

TR

1901 - 1909

Hoover

1928 - 1932

FDR

1933 - 1945

Nixon

1969 - 1974

Watergate scandal

1972 - 1974

Wars

Vietnam war

1955 - 1975