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Love Canal, a small community near Niagara Falls, New York, entered into our national memory starting with a front-page story in the New York Times on August 1, 1978. In that story, it was noted that Hooker Chemical Company had dumped toxic wastes into the ground up until 1953. The article addressed the incidence of birth defects in children in the area. Lois Gibbs, a resident, became a national spokesperson for all those who lived in Love Canal.

Love Canal was named after a Mr. William Love, who attempted to build a canal connecting two levels of Niagara Falls in 1890. His plan ultimately failed, and the only actual accomplishment was the building of a canal about 1 mile long, 15 feet wide, and 10 feet ...

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