In the 1960s Pete Seeger (b. 1919) began advocating the cleanup of New York’s Hudson River, then a dumping ground for chemical waste and sewage. Wanting to rally people around a hopeful symbol, he raised money to build a boat: the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, which launched in 1969 and became the symbol of the Hudson’s remarkable revival over the subsequent decades. Perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that this represents only a thin slice of Seeger’s legacy as a singer, songwriter, folk music historian, and social change activist.
(Photo: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images)