With his image of the Grim Reaper coming for those who dared to breathe in America's cities, Herb Block indicated that air pollution had become a major issue by 1967. President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to authorize federal regulation of air quality to protect the environment. When he signed the Air Quality Act of 1967 into law on November 21, 1967, Johnson quoted Dante's Inferno, ". . . dirty water and black snow pour from the dismal air to. . .the putrid slush that waits for them below."