Date When Celebrated : Always on April 22.
U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the “Father of Earth Day”, initiated and promoted environmental actions and activities beginning in 1962. He convinced then President John F. Kennedy to tour the nation in support of environmental concerns. This initial effort did not spark national concern at a political level to effect change.
But Senator Gaylord continued his pursuit of increased environmental concern and action. He proposed a National Earth Day in 1970. It was to be the first nationwide environmental protest “to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda”. On April 22, 1970, the timing was right and the first Earth Day protest received astounding support.
On that first Earth Day, an estimated 20 million Americans took to the street in support of the environment and in protest of harmful environmental practices. Never mind that “protests” were in vogue at the time. This effort produced a lasting impact on the environment and brought about greater awareness that our planet had limited resources, and that our eco-system was self contained and finite. The things we are putting in the air, water, and earth were impacting us.
Did you know? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed as a direct result of this first Earth Day in 1970.
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