Today is Earth Day! Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 and is a way to celebrate environmental protections, big and small.
- This is the 51st celebration of Earth Day
- Earth Day began in the United States and is celebrated by more than 190 countries today
- Earth Day is a chance to learn about and join environmental movements to improve the earth. Celebrating earth day can look anything like picking up trash outside, starting a compost bin, or being more mindful about recycling.
- In 1969, Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin came up with the idea for a national student movement to address deteriorating planet conditions.
- Inspired by student activism in the anti-war movement, Nelson planed a day of college teach-ins on April 22nd, which fell between spring break and final exams to maximize participation
- Nelson’s efforts were joined by Rep. Pete McCloskey of California and Denis Hayes, a young activist
- The momentum grew to a national scale and inspired 20 million Americans (about 10% of the total U.S. population) to celebrate the first-ever Earth Day with marches and protests
- Earth Day branded individual environmental groups together to advocate together for similar values
- In 1990, Earth Day went global to include 141 countries in the celebration
- Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Dec. 1970
- Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1995 for his lifelong environmental efforts
To write this article, the Auburn Examiner reviewed information from earthday.org