Earth Day at 50

Untitled by Brooke Pennington

Untitled by Brooke Pennington

Happy 50th Earth Day everyone! It’s without a doubt the weirdest one on record, but I thought you might be interested in the Michigan roots of Earth Day, at the University of Michigan to be precise. James Tobin of Michigan Today shares the story of the Teach-In on the Environment that UM held in March of 1970 because Earth Day fell right in the middle of exams. Students and teachers formed a group called Environmental Action for Survival (ENACT) and booked Democratic front-runner Senator Edmund Muskie, Ralph Nader and biologist Dr. Barry Commoner.

Michigan’s Teach-In on the Environment was not the first Earth Day. It was the huge and spectacularly successful prototype of the first Earth Day, which happened five weeks later—“the most famous little-known event,” one historian has written, “in modern American history.”

…The crowd in Crisler Arena overflowed into the parking lots. Workshops and rallies were swarmed by Michigan students, schoolkids, retirees, and PTA parents. When it was over, the New York Times said Michigan’s Teach-In on the Environment had been “by any reckoning…one of the most extraordinary ‘happenings’ ever to hit the great American heartland: Four solid days of soul-searching, by thousands of people, young and old, about ecological exigencies confronting the human race.”

Measured against the extreme rhetoric and violent protests that set the tone of the era, it was an earnest, even quiet, event. A few speakers were heckled and a few showy demonstrations drew heavy media attention—the “trial and execution” of a 1959 Ford on the Diag; the dumping of 10,000 non-returnable pop cans at a Coca-Cola bottling plant (afterward students picked up the cans and threw them away, an irony not lost on reporters); the smearing of tar and feathers on a building where an oil company was interviewing job prospects.

Read the rest right here. & dig into 2020 online events at earthday.org.

Check out Brooke’s Spring photo album on Flickr for more!

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Waving at April Fools

Wave by Ryan Munson

Wave by Ryan Munson

Those who know me or are longtime Michigan in Pictures fans know that April Fools Day is something near & dear to my heart (click that link for some of the best). It’s one of the many comforting things that are sliding away and I hope that all of you find new comforts & new ways of thinking about happiness.

You can view Ryan’s photo and more on Flickr & also check out the Ann Arbor Festifools group on Flickr for more from this A2 tradition!

PS: Shoutout to the folks who’ve tossed me a couple of dollars for Michigan in Pictures as well as all of you who are reading & sharing my posts. Feel free to email me a link to your Instagram or other photo page if you want me to check out your own photos for sharing and STAY SAFE!!

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A Squirrel’s Eye View

Fox Squirrel in Ann Arbor University of Michigan

Fox Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan on a Quiet Day by Corey Seeman

Corey is one of my favorite members of the Absolute Michigan group on Flickr, which is the place where most of the photos on Michigan in Pictures come from. For over a decade, Corey has been telling stories through his photographs of the squirrels on the University of Michigan campus. For his latest entry he writes about a subject close to all of us:

Fox Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan on a Quiet Day – March 19th, 2020

So much to unpack here. With COVID-19 essentially shutting down campuses all across America and the world, there are few normal days to be had. I have been going into the office a few times just to make sure that things are still standing. Most of my work is at home.

But the one part of my life that is sadly missing at home are the squirrels. I normally use it as a social exercise – handing out peanuts to strangers so they can feed the squirrels. That part is gone in the world of social distancing. I keep at least enough room for the Holy Spirit to drive a car between me and anyone I am with.

On my recent day in the office (Thursday March 19th, 2020), I walked around just a bit. On the sad side, I saw a squirrel on the Diag who was either sick, fallen, or had been attacked, struggling to drink water and eat. I did see one – who might have been a momma – living inside Michele Oka Doner’s 2009 bronze casted statue “Angry Neptune, Salacia and Strider.” She seems to have an infected eye – I hope it gets better. I wish the squirrels at my home were nearly this friendly. But in the grand scheme of things – there is so much more to wish for.

Be safe everyone – we will get through this. Sending love and virtual hugs from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Pictures from the University of Michigan on Thursday March 19th, 2020.

Be safe indeed, and love & virtual hugs to you all! Check out Corey’s University of Michigan (2020-) set on Flickr and if you need even more squirrels, Michigan in Pictures has you covered!

What’s up everyone?

Squirrels in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan (July 31st, 2017), photo by Corey Seeman

Apologies for the spotty posting over the last week. I’ve been pretty busy on a project.

Corey took this photo yesterday on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor when he was testing out his new Tamron 18mm-400mm lens, which he totally loves. View the photo background bigtacular and see more in Corey’s Project 365: Year 10 slideshow. (spoiler alert – there’s a lot of squirrels in it!)

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

“MU” merges University of Michigan & Michigan State University

via Absolute Michigan

Michigan-MSU-Merger

HOWELL, MICHIGAN – This morning, Ann Arbor based University of Michigan and East Lansing’s Michigan State University announced a historic merger that will create the largest university on the planet, known simply as “MU”.

“We stand midway between two storied colleges to create the greatest of them all,” stated MU co-President Lou Anna Simon as she welcomed an estimated 11,110 alumni, honorees, and angry sports fans to what will be the main campus of MU in Howell. “MU will become the largest college in the U.S. and instantly the leader in medicine, science, arts, and of course – sports.”

Her fellow co-President Mark Schlissel “Today we put aside our differences to crush all other universities with the aggregated research, industry partnerships, academic synergies, and the combined athletic might that two nationally powerful programs can bring to bear.”

Although barely hours old, the new school has already been ranked #1 for the upcoming football, basketball and cancer research seasons.

Reactions of fans of the two programs contacted ranged from “confused” to “enraged” while the entire state of Ohio pretty much just broke down and cried.

Rainbow Season

Another Amazing Sky

Another Amazing Sky, photo by Ben Thompson

Gotta love Spring!

View Ben’s photo bigger and see more in his Weather/Clouds slideshow.

More Michigan weather fun and more Ann Arbor on Michigan in Pictures.

Michigan and Earth Day

Flags of our Grandparents

Flags of our grandparents, photo by PhotoLab507

Today is the 45th Earth Day, and many many not be aware of Michigan’s role in this holiday. The Ann Arbor Chronicle has an excellent feature titled Turbulent Origins of Ann Arbor’s First Earth Day that looks at the national movement in the late 60s to call attention to environmental degradation:

One of the first tasks facing the national organization was to choose a date for the proposed mass teach-ins. They settled on April 22 – “Earth Day,” as it would eventually be named – largely because that date fell optimally between spring break and final exams for most American colleges. (The fact that it is also Lenin’s birthday is apparently a complete coincidence.) But the University of Michigan operated then as now on a trimester system, with April 22 falling right in the middle of finals. As a result, the U-M environmental teach-in was scheduled for mid-March 1970.

The fact that it took place more than a month prior to national Earth Day has led to the misconception that the ENACT teach-in launched Earth Day, or that U-M was host to the first Earth Day celebration. In fact there were environmental events on other campuses as early as December 1969. But that does not in any way diminish the importance of the Ann Arbor event, which was to have a huge influence on the course of what has been called the largest mass demonstration in American history – Earth Day 1970, in which an estimated 20 million people participated.

“The University of Michigan teach-in was not the first or even the second or third – a few small liberal arts colleges had environmental teach-ins in January and February 1970,” says Adam Rome, a professor of history at Penn State who is working on a book about Earth Day. ”But the Michigan event was by far the biggest, best, and most influential of the pre-Earth Day teach-ins. The media gave it tremendous coverage. It was the first sign that Earth Day would be a big deal.”

…Events ran from the early morning until well after midnight, on topics such as overpopulation – “Sock It to Motherhood: Make Love, Not Babies” – the future of the Great Lakes, the root causes of the ecological crisis, and the effect of war on the environment. More than sixty major media outlets covered the action, including all three American television networks and a film crew from Japan. It was the biggest such event that had yet been seen in Ann Arbor – and coming as it did at the tail end of the sixties, it would be one of the last.

At the kickoff rally around 14,000 people paid fifty cents to crowd into Crisler Arena and listen to speeches by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Michigan governor William Milliken, radio personality Arthur Godfrey, and ecologist Barry Commoner, and groove to the music of Hair and Gordon Lightfoot. Another 3,000 who couldn’t get in listened on loudspeakers that were hastily set up in the parking lot.

Read on for lots more and you can also view a video from the first Earth Day at the University of Michigan Bentley Library.

The photographer shared a nice lyric too from Carol Johnson:

The Earth is my mother / She good to me / she gives me everything that I ever need
food on the table/ the clothes I wear/ the sun and the water and the cool, fresh air

View the photo bigger and see more in their slideshow.

Festifools #1 calling Festifools #9

Festifools Ann Arbor

FestiFools: puppet painting, photo by Myra Klarman

The annual Festifools returns to Ann Arbor next Sunday, April 12 at 4 PM. The event is in its 9th year, and they explain:

A new local tradition, kicking off Ann Arbor’s outdoor festival season, FestiFools is a gigantic public art spectacular, created by members of the community and U of M students. Magnificent, huge, bizarre, politically incorrect, human-powered papier-mâché puppets join thousands of Foolish friends frolicking about downtown for one fun-filled hour. Don’t miss out on this eight annual celebration of foolishness!

Myra took this photo back in 2007 as she documented the very first year of what has become an Ann Arbor tradition. View her photo on Flickr and definitely check out her 2007 FestiFools April 1st Parade slideshow.

Milky Way and Stars over Ludington Lighthouse

Milky Way and Stars over Ludington Lighthouse

Milky Way and Stars over Ludington Lighthouse, photo by Craig

Craig writes:

The beacon shines brightly from both the North Breakwater Lighthouse and the South Breakwater Light in Ludington Michigan at night. The Milky Way and other stars shine brightly on this Lake Michigan scene.

View his photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Many (many) more Michigan lighthouses and more night shots on Michigan in Pictures!

As American as … Soccer

Manchester United vs. Real Madrid

Manchester United vs. Real Madrid, photo by Chad Miles

The Independent reports that a US record 109,318 fans turned out at Michigan Stadium to watch a “friendly” pre-season match between Manchester United and Real Madrid on Saturday. Read more in their report on the match and also see this SB Nation article for more pics of the massive crowd.

View Chad’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.