The 1970’s was an era of political, environmental, and technological awareness. This era provided the American people with information and inventions that would positively shape the future of the United States. Awareness brings about optimistic thinking and change. This is exactly what happened in the 1970’s. Political awareness brought about accountability for the government and politicians. Environmental awareness brought about consumer and governmental accountability in energy usage. Inventions in the 1970’s were the platform for technology age that Americans currently rely on daily.
President Richard M. Nixon and his involvement in the Watergate scandal were broadcast nightly on the 6 o’clock news in the early 1970’s. Americans were engrossed with the scandal and each person held his or her own view of situation. Each broadcast or newspaper article created a mistrust of political and governmental leaders. In response to this mistrust, the Freedom to Information Act was strengthened by the United States Congress in 1973 (Chamberlain). Although this act was first placed into law in the late 1960’s, the Watergate scandal provided the incentive make this law stronger.
The Watergate Scandal and the resignation of President Nixon was the beginning of American’s mistrust of politicians. This can be viewed as a positive effect. As a result three important open record reforms created. The first of the reforms is the Sunshine Act in 1976. This requires government agencies to conduct meetings that are open to public, with a few exceptions. In 1978, the Ethics in Government Act requires public officials to disclose financial and employment records. The Presidential Records Act, also initiated in 1978, required preservation of all presidential records and documents (Finney). Reforms and acts such as these are a step in the right direction to making the United States government more transparent to the public.
On April 22, 1970, the United States observed the first earth day. The first earth day focused on striving for a healthy and sustainable environment. Today, Americans still strive for the same end result. Thanks to efforts of those focused on recycling in the 1970’s we have embraced recycling and many other practices to save our planet (Yarett). Americans became of aware of the effects of greenhouse gases, the thinning of the ozone layer, and energy wastes. This awareness has led to positive changes in the United States.
The Environmental Protection Act began in 1970. In a statement from Pollution Engineering a spokesman states the main focus of the EPA as “a firm commitment to keeping American communities across our country healthy and safe” (Bigham). The Environmental Protection Agency protects the health and safety of Americans. This agency monitors the safety of our food and drinking water. Additionally, the EPA continues to find fund research to increase the earth’s sustainability. The Clean Air and Water Act was...