A brief history of Earth Day

A brief history of Earth Day

POSTED: Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Friday, May 4, 2012 - 3:27pm

Earth Day is a celebration of, well, Earth. It is a time where we reflect on how we only have one plant like it and the need to take care of its land, water, and air. The history behind this model day is one of great timing and effort by its founder, Gaylord Nelson.

Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, began making an effort to push for higher awareness of environmental problems after witnessing the outcomes of the 1969 oil spills in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the anti-war movement, he discovered that he could use that energy combined with a growing conscience for pollution to put environmental protection on the national agenda.

As a result of his efforts, along with his staff, Earth Day 1970 was possible. It achieved a rare occurrence that rarely happens in our nation. It had a range of support from the likes of Republicans and Democrats, the rich and the poor, and from tycoons to labor leaders. The first Earth Day also lead to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Today, the fight for a clean environment continues as the world sees increasing changes happening all around. We can only win the fight if everybody does their part to help. Doing this will helps assure that there will be a clean Earth for future generations to come.

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