Yehudi Menuhin Added Music to Purpose of Earth Day

When I was in the Merchant Marine during World War II Yehudi Menuhin played his violin for servicemen at a USO in Trinidad.  I was there and after his wonderful music I got his autograph.

On August 11, 1996 I attended the Yehudi Menuhin Tribute at Avery Fisher Hall. At that event Lord Menuhin added his signature to the original 1970 Earth Day Proclamation -- which I had brought for him to sign.

The original signatories included former UN Secretary General U Thant, Anthropologist Margaret Mead, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Senator Mark Hatfield, and former President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The last signature added (1995) was that of Yasir Arafat, President of Palestine.

Lord Menuhin provided a statement which was made a part of the Earth Magna Charta . The text is as follows:


The exercise of arts and crafts -- especially in the form of singing, dancing, mime acting and music-making -- is the most effective antidote to violence and crime. Let us ensure that every child from the very first year will NEVER be deprived of the aural and physical experience on which its whole life and the future of humanity depends."

Throughout his life Lord Menhuhin effectively contributed to efforts for peace and understanding -- by his words and with his music.

John McConnell
March 1999

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