Earth Day Dates Back to 1970

Each year we celebrate Earth Day by planting trees, recycling, joining local groups that work to protect the environment along with several other activities, but why do we celebrate on April 22nd? Here are some historical facts on Earth Day.


April 22nd is the anniversary of the 1970 modern environmental movement known as Earth Day.

After witnessing the Santa Barbara oil spills, Gaylord Nelson, who was then the U.S. Senator of Wisconsin, founded Earth Day. He made efforts to create consciousness about air and water pollution and believed it would force environmental security onto the national political agenda. He announced the “national teach-in on the environment” to the media and recruited a team of 85 members to promote events. With Spring Break and Final Exams approaching, April 22nd was chosen to celebrate Earth Day.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans protested for a healthy, sustainable environment. Several colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Earth Day 1970 accomplished a rare political placement, gaining support from Republicans and Democrats and the community. By the end of the year, the first Earth Day led to the formation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day Today

Denis Hayes, who was recruited by Senator Nelson, agreed to lead another campaign focusing on global warming and an effort for clean energy. Earth Day of 2000 used the power of the Internet to organize activists and sent world leaders the clear-cut message that citizens worldwide needed quick and conclusive action on global warming and clean energy.

Earth Day is now celebrated by more than a billion people every year and is a day of action that alters human behavior and encourages policy changes.

Today, the battle for a clean environment persists with an evolving urgency, as the effects of climate change become more apparent every day.