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Did you know that the very first Earth Day was on April, 22, 1970? 

It is now 2023 and the Earth Day holiday is 53 years old!

The mission of this holiday was to educate the public about environmental issues and to force these issues onto a national agenda.

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s best seller Silent Spring brought attention to the dangers of pesticide use and in  1969, a fire on the Cuyahog River near Cleveland brought chemical waste disposal to the forefront. Before that time there was no such thing as the EPA, no Clean Air or Water act, and no legal or regulatory protections in place for our environment. 

Thanks to Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson,  who was one of the leaders of the modern environmental movement, Earth Day was created.   The purpose of this grassroots  demonstration was to bring national awareness to the political administration.

Stanford University’s student president, Denis Hayes, had the honor of being selected as Earth Day’s nation coordinator.  He worked closely with Senator Nelson’s office and an army of student leaders to launch this movement. Twenty million Americans came together to demonstrate in various U.S. cities, and it worked!   The news covered this story from coast to coast and the response to his call was “electrifying!”  In December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to confront environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

According to Nelson, “Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response on a grassroots level.  We had neither the tie or the resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities that participated.  That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day.  It organized itself!

Please do your part to continue to support this movement on a daily basis.



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