User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

Earth Day: A Complete History

History of Earth Day

Earth Day, the international holiday honoring our beautiful home planet, is approaching quickly - April 22, 2011.  The goal of earth  day is to bring awareness to environmental causes, to inspire people to act in their community, and to education people on the needs of our planet.

Earth Day falls on April 22 every year.  The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970.  The effort was led by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin due to his growing concerns over the disintegration of the United States environment. Denis Hayes, a Harvard grad student, joined the effort and took a leading role in organization.  Senator Nelson was one of the first environmental "activists" to reach the congressional level. President JFK suggested something like an Earth Day.  After visiting the horrific oil spill is Santa Barbara, California, Senator Nelson decided to put words into action.

That first Earth Day was celebrated by about 20 million people (today about 500 million across the globe join in the festivities!). The turn out was larger than expected, with many university protests and environmental group participation.  CBS aired a 1-hour television special to cover the event, which probably greatly increased the visibility of the event.

By 1990, Earth Day hit the national level, with participation in 141 countries.  Today Earth Day is celebrated in over 175 countries! Earth Day continues to grow through grassroots support and mainstream media coverage as it did back in 1970.  Popular support from celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio help draw crowds to events and spread the word of environmentalism.

Mark your calendar, check out some local events in your area and figure out how you can volunteer.  Earth Day, 2011, here we come!