The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum invites the public to join David Stradling, professor of urban and environmental history at the University of Cincinnati, as he presents "How the Cuyahoga River Fire Saved America and Other True-ish Stories."

The Cuyahoga River, running through Cleveland, has caught fire a total of 13 times — most famously in 1969, the result of industrial pollution.

The fire lit the imagination of the nation, tarnished the city’s reputation, and sparked countless references such as Randy Newman’s "Burn On" and Great Lakes Brewing Company’s "Burning River Pale Ale." Stradling will discuss the myths surrounding the burning river and its role in shaping the environmental movement.

Adding historical context to the fire, the talk describes the importance of Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes and the relative powerlessness he experienced as he attempted to solve the problems of the combined urban and environmental crises. Stradling is the author of several books on environmental and urban history, most recently "Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland."

This free discussion will be held on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum Museum, located at 203 E. Main St. in Loudonville. This program is made possible in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More information is available at or by calling the museum office at (419) 994-4050.