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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Celebrating Earth Day with John Denver

Air Date: Week of

NASA Blue Marble of the Earth's Eastern Hemisphere. Composition of images taken by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying on board of the sattelite Terra, by NASA. (Photo:Wikimedia Commons, NASA)

Steve Curwood and Bobby Bascomb kick off this Earth Day special with a look back on the memorable 1990 Earth Day. For the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, John Denver took center stage for a massive rally on the National Mall and called for action to protect our fragile planet.


CURWOOD: From PRX and the Jennifer and Ted Stanley Studios at the University of Massachusetts Boston, this is Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood.

BASCOMB: And I’m Bobby Bascomb.

Today we are celebrating the Earth and Earth Day, with some music, poetry, and storytelling.

CURWOOD: Earth Day as an expression of caring for the Earth is a movement with moments, including its twentieth anniversary back in 1990, when I produced the first pilots for this show and John Denver took center stage for a massive earth day rally on the National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

[Rocky Mountain High Song]

DENVER: Thank you very much. And once again Happy Earth Day. Buckminster Fuller, who was a dear friend of mine, the grandfather of the future, in many of our opinion, said that the major challenge that faces the human race is a metaphysical one. And that is to educate people to the degree that spontaneous behaviors sprang forth behaviors which will ensure this level of our species. Today, people all over the world are gathered together, people who have heard that voice, and who have begun that education and are willing now to take the second step, which is to translate our knowledge into action. We see a world of clean air to breathe, and clean water to drink. We see a world without home hunger and homelessness. We see our hunger with a world without nuclear weapons, a world in which all people are working together to create a sustainable future and a healthy environment.

CURWOOD: John Denver at the 1990 Earth Day celebration on the national mall.



Watch John Denver’s 1990 Earth Day performance


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