Lois Gibbs

(Photo courtesy: Courier-Express Collection, Archives and Special Collections, E.H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.)

A movement that started with scared homeowners, strange smells and a collection of health symptoms celebrates an anniversary today. Forty years after President Jimmy Carter first declared Love Canal a national health emergency, former housewife and activist Lois Gibbs looks back and realizes that the people she mobilized were the start of something a lot bigger.


Heritage Moments: Love Canal and the Niagara Falls 'housewives' who shook the world

Aug 15, 2016
Photo by Penelope D. Ploughman, ©1980, all rights reserved. Courtesy, University Archives, State University of New York at Buffalo

Some 40 years after chemicals were first observed bubbling from the ground at Love Canal, the health risks resulting from the poisoning of the Niagara Falls, N.Y., neighborhood are still making headlines today. Yet we sometimes forget that the Love Canal disaster might have amounted to little more than a footnote, were it not for the relentless defiance of a group of average citizens. Without the efforts of those citizens – most of them housewives -- the modern environmental movement as we know it today might not exist.


Former resident Lois Gibbs remembers Love Canal

Oct 23, 2013
Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

Niagara Falls residents and activists commemorated the 35th anniversary of the historic Love Canal relocation on Tuesday.