The Cuyahoga River outside of Cleveland did catch fire in June of 1969, burning a base and some bridges. This was not the first time that the river had caught on fire. Fires occurred on the Cuyahoga River in 1868, 1883, 1887, 1912, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1948, and in 1952. The 1952 fire caused over 1.5 million dollars in damage.
The 1969 fire brought attention to the problem of gross water pollution and sparked environmental activism which lead to the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972.
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