DAA Daily

History Of Earth Day

By Patricia Abdo arts and entertainment editor, The Pawprint

Earth day was on April 22. This is the day when people plant trees, clean the local parks and just celebrate nature. But when and why did people start celebrating this day not many people know, so let’s find out together. 

Earth Day was found in 1970 as an educational day about environmental issues. In the early 1960 Americans were aware about the effects of pollution on the environment. In 1969 fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River  brought attention to the problems of chemical waste disposal. Until that time protecting the planet’s natural resources wasn’t a big concern. Factories pumped pollutants everywhere: lakes, rivers, air. In the same year U.S senate Gaylord Nelson  a democrat from Wisconsin who was concerned about the environmental issues, developed the idea of Earth Day.

At the conference in Seattle Nelson announced the concept of Earth day and invited the entire nation to get involved. Denis Hayes, a young activist, was selected as Earth’s Day national coordinator. He and other volunteers worked together to organize the project. Thousands of schools across the United States and 20 million demonstrators participated.

On April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day happened. Rallies were held in Chicago, Philadelphia, New-York and other major cities. There were public speeches organized everywhere to spread awareness about the Earth situation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25 percent of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2,500 percent increase over 1969.” 

Since 1970 the celebration has grown. In 1990 the celebration went up to 200 million people in 140 different countries. In 2000 Earth Day focused on clean energy gathering millions of people from more than 180 countries. Today Earth Day collaborates with more than 17,000 organizations and 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities making it the largest civic event in the world. 

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