Earth Day: Helping Save Our Planet

Earth as seen from Apollo 17 in 1972. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Earth as seen from Apollo 17 in 1972. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1970, Earth Day was celebrated for the first time.

Here are some things you may not have known about it.

The first Earth Day was organized by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, who planned it as a day of environmental education.

In New York, the event drew an estimated crowd of more than 1 million people to Central Park. The city also shut down Fifth Avenue for the event.

It’s estimated that the first Earth Day was observed on 2,000 college and university campuses in the United States, and thousands of primary and secondary schools.

The concept of Earth Day was then largely dormant for the next 20 years.

In 1990, more than 200 million people in 141 countries were involved in the celebration. Two separate organizing committees put on programs. One of them, Earth Day 20 based its festivities at the Gorge Amphitheatre near the town of George, Washington. The event was hosted by John Ratzenberger from the TV sitcom “Cheers” and was headlined by musician Chuck Berry. There was also an international climb of Mount Everest, the first time climbers from the U.S., the Soviet Union and China had climbed the mountain as part of the same group.

The event is now held on an annual basis around the world, largely focusing on climate change and pushing for clean energy sources.

In 1995, Gaylord Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts in starting Earth Day.

Our question, what state did Gaylord Nelson represent in the Senate?

Today is Discovery Day in Brazil and Holocaust Remembrance Day in Serbia.

It’s National Jelly Bean Day and April Showers Day.

It’s the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, who was born in 1870, pinup Bettie Page, born in 1923, actor Jack Nicholson, who is 79 and director John Waters, who is 70.

This week in 1970, the top song in the U.S. was “Let It Be” by The Beatles.

The No. 1 movie was “Patton,” while the novel “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” by John Fowles topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.


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