Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd by billions of people across the planet. It is a global day of action to support and create momentum for environmental awareness and protection.
Did you know how Earth Day was founded?
- John McConnell, an Iowa native born in 1915, successfully persuaded the United Nations to recognize the first official Earth Day on March 21, 1970 - the spring equinox in North America in that year. A peace activist and ardent Christian, McConnell envisioned his holiday as a way to promote not only care of the Earth but also an end to human conflict.
- Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea of a "national teach-in" on the environment for April 22, 1970. The Senator was looking to harness the power of the student anti-war movement, and partnered with Congressman Pete McCloskey and Denis Hayes, then a Harvard graduate student, to organize rallies at universities and colleges across the United States. The focus on the student movement was critical to the selection of the date. April 22nd fell between spring break and final exams.
- The first Earth Day was so successful that it created genuine political urgency. The establishment of the United States EPA by President Nixon and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and the Endangered Species Act are all credited to the Earth Day movement.
- Denis Hayes went on to found the Earth Day Network which continues the tradition of the first Earth Day movement and has worked diligently to expand the Earth Day holiday internationally.
With everyone's help we can make sure that our planet is strong and healthy for generations to come. You can make a difference!