Celebrate with us!
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River. The Cuyahoga River had caught fire several times before, but on June 22, 1969, around noon, floating pieces of oil slicked debris were ignited on the river by sparks caused by a passing train. The fire was determined to have reached heights of over five stories and lasted between twenty and thirty minutes - there was reported to be around $50,000 worth of damages. Not the worst incident of the river catching fire, however this time was different. In December of 1969, a picture of the Cuyahoga River ablaze was published in the New York Times, and Cleveland became a symbol of environmental degradation. As the city looks ahead to the 50th anniversary of the fire next year, that infamous day is a not only an ancient memory -- it is also being celebrated as the beginning of a miraculous comeback for a river that has increasingly become a magnet for leisure and entertainment.
A Change of Narrative for Our Beloved River
Here are a couple of Conservancy events about the Cuyahoga River you can begin to mark on your calendar:
- Wednesday, February 27 | 8-10 PM Cuyahoga Valley Insititute: Excerpts from Cleveland Public Theater’s Fire on the Water
- Friday, March 1 | 7-9 PM Crooked Chronicles: A Century of River Clean Up in Cuyahoga Valley