If Great Blue Herons are part of your quality of life, please join me in lifting a toast to the Cuyahoga River. When the river caught on fire in Cleveland 40 years ago today, it became a tipping point in rallying support for passage of the Clean Water Act. Even Richard Nixon had to concede that something needed to be done to curb the pollution of our waterways. Eventually the fish came back, and the herons followed. What am I drinking tonight? A Cleveland microbrew called Burning River Pale Ale.
Be not deceived. This isn’t 1969, or you’d see psychedelic colors. This is the Cuyahoga River fire on Nov. 3, 1952. I haven’t found a good image from 1969, which was a flash in the pan by comparison. [Source: Cleveland State University Library/Ohio History Central]