How did Earth Day Get Started?

April 22, 2014Earth and North America from Space

Today we celebrate Earth Day, a day of awareness for people around the world to join together in promoting the protection of the planet. Earth Day is filled with tree-planting, parades, protests and more. How did Earth Day get started? Good question.

During the 60’s, a group of environmentalists and scientists wanted to act on their growing concern for the problems of the planet. Pesticides at the time were a giant problem and an issue that many were focusing on.

A Wisconsin senator by the name of Gaylord Nelson had been mounting pressure on government officials to pay more attention to the issues facing the environment. He even convinced President Kennedy to go on a conservation tour. President Kennedy became vocal on environmental issues however this was not enough to create real action.

Nelson began to observe “teach-ins” which were war protests going on at many college campuses across the US. He wanted to enact the same type of ideas but for the environment.

At the same time activist John McConnell was also working to propose a day where everyone could focus on the issues of the planet and their ideas fused into Earth Day.

Harvard Law School student Denis Hayes was recruited by Nelson to coordinate the events and on April 22nd, 1970 the first Earth day came into effect with 20 million participants showing support nationwide.

In the 90’s, Earth Day went global with two hundred million participants protesting across the world.

Today, although there are still protests happening across the globe, we also celebrate by planting trees, making pledges, and becoming informed about what we can do to help save our earth.

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Recycling drives? Planting trees or flowers? Joining in on a protest? However you are celebrating Earth Day, we hope that you are raising awareness and at the same time enjoying the beauty of nature and all it has to offer!

Happy Earth Day!

-Monica Bologna

Photo Credit: Flickr/ EraPhernalia…(playin’ hook-y ;o)

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