Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty

SustainFloyd is offering a free online screening of Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty from Thursday, September 28 to Saturday, September 30, 2023. Sign up below.

Stewart Lee Udall was the most prominent and effective Secretary of the Interior in American history. STEWART UDALL: The Politics of Beauty is a feature documentary that examines the trajectory of Udall’s life from his childhood through his Mormon mission, his World War II service, his student years at the University of Arizona, his time in Congress, and then, most significantly, his years as Secretary of the Interior and beyond.

The story of a man who made a commitment to beauty and to the environment at a critical time in US history. An inspiration to keep on working for what we believe in!

“An increasing Gross National Product has become the Holy Grail, and most of the economists who are its keepers have no concern for the economics of beauty.” —Stewart Lee Udall, 1968

“Above all, we must maintain the chance for contact with beauty. When that chance dies, a light dies in all of us, Thoreau said.  We are the creation of our environment. If it becomes filthy and sordid, then the dignity of the spirit and the deepest of our values immediately are in danger.” –Udall, in a speech written for Lyndon Johnson, 1964

Stewart Lee Udall (1920-2010) served as Secretary of the Interior under both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.  During that time, he provided the political leadership for a legacy that includes the Clean Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Wilderness Act, the Endangered Species List, the Highway Beautification Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Scenic Trails Acts, the Pesticide Reduction and Mining Reclamation Acts, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the creation of a host of national parks and monuments, and other accomplishments many Americans now simply take for granted.  Udall’s record is perhaps unmatched by any other Interior Secretary, and the Interior Department building in Washington DC is now named for him.  So is the Easternmost point in the United States, Point Udall in the Virgin Islands.  Yet most Americans know little of him.

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