Cleveland River Celebrated On Fire Anniversary

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Cleveland (AP) -- Cleveland is celebrating the rebirth of a river that infamously caught fire exactly 40 years ago.

It was on June 22, 1969 that floating oil and debris caught fire on the Cuyahoga River, becoming a symbol for pollution as well as fodder for comedians.

The burning river helped spur the environmental movement and widespread reforms, including the federal Clean Water Act.

On Monday, the anniversary will be marked with ceremonies celebrating today's cleaner river.

Environmental officials recently asked that large portions of the Cuyahoga be taken off an international list of polluted waters in the Great Lakes region.

"Re-birthday" cake will be served on both sides of the river at the area in Cleveland where it burned.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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