The 70's: The Disco and The Planet

The 70's: The Disco and The Planet

1. The Disco: Much of mainstream club and dance culture today began with Disco.

Disco emerged as a popular music and dance genre in the United States during the 1970s. It originated from a fusion of various musical styles, including funk, soul, and Latin rhythms. The early roots of disco can be traced back to African American and gay club cultures in cities like New York and Philadelphia. These clubs, such as The Loft and Paradise Garage in New York City and The Warehouse in Chicago, became the incubators of disco music, where DJs pioneered the art of mixing and blending records. One of the first disco songs to gain mainstream attention was "Love's Theme" by the Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973, which set the stage for the disco movement to take off. As disco gained popularity, iconic artists like Donna Summer, known as the "Queen of Disco," released chart-topping hits such as "Love to Love You Baby" and "I Feel Love." 

Disco clubs became the go-to destinations for music, fashion, and dancing, with iconic venues like Studio 54 in New York City, known for its glamorous parties and celebrity clientele. However, by the late 1970s, disco faced a backlash known as the "disco backlash" or "disco demolition." Some critics and rock music fans viewed disco as superficial and manufactured, leading to the infamous Disco Demolition Night at Chicago's Comiskey Park in 1979. This event, where disco records were blown up on the field between games of a doubleheader, marked a symbolic end to the initial disco era.

2. The Planet: Environmental progress was made in the 70's, but with limited scope paired with political and industrial lash-back. 

  1. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): In 1970, President Richard Nixon established the EPA, which consolidated various federal environmental responsibilities into one agency. The EPA's mission was to protect human health and the environment. It played a vital role in enforcing environmental regulations and implementing policies to address pollution and other environmental issues.

  2. Clean Air Act (1970) and Clean Water Act (1972): These landmark legislations were enacted to combat air and water pollution. The Clean Air Act aimed to reduce air pollution by setting standards for emissions and establishing regulations for industries. The Clean Water Act aimed to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters by regulating discharges into water bodies and setting water quality standards.

  3. Endangered Species Act (1973): This act provided protection for endangered and threatened species and their habitats. It prohibited the "take" of these species and provided guidelines for their recovery and conservation.

  4. Earth Day: The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, drawing attention to environmental issues and promoting environmental activism. It helped raise public awareness and led to increased support for environmental causes.

  5. Rise of Environmental Movements: The 1970s saw the emergence of prominent environmental movements such as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth. These organizations played a crucial role in advocating for environmental conservation and influencing public opinion.