Source from: http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement
Each year, Earth Day -- April 22 -- marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it; four of them even gave their lives at a protest at Kent State University.
At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news. Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries and, up until that moment, more than any other person, Ms. Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.
Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.
The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.
As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. "It was a gamble," Gaylord recalled, "but it worked."
As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) -- the highest honor given to civilians in the United States -- for his role as Earth Day founder.
As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. It used the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a talking drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, and hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on clean energy.
Much like 1970, Earth Day 2010 came at a time of great challenge for the environmental community. Climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to a strong narrative that overshadowed the cause of progress and change. In spite of the challenge, for its 40th anniversary, Earth Day Network reestablished Earth Day as a powerful focal point around which people could demonstrate their commitment. Earth Day Network brought 225,000 people to the National Mall for a Climate Rally, amassed 40 million environmental service actions toward its 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green®, launched an international, 1-million tree planting initiative with Avatar director James Cameron and tripled its online base to over 900,000 community members.
The fight for a clean environment continues in a climate of increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. We invite you to be a part of Earth Day and help write many more victories and successes into our history. Discover energy you didn't even know you had. Feel it rumble through the grassroots under your feet and the technology at your fingertips. Channel it into building a clean, healthy, diverse world for generations to come.
WHAT IS EARTH DAY???
Source from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day
Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this first Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. April 22 corresponds to spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues. World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5 in a different nation every year, remains the principal United Nations environmental observance.
- 1 The first Earth Day
- 2 Earth Day 20 and Earth Day 1990
- 3 Earth Day 2000
- 4 Subsequent Earth Day Events
- 5 The Earth Day Name
- 6 Earth Day Network
- 7 Earth Day Canada
- 8 History of the Equinox Earth Day
- 9 April 22 observances
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
 The first Earth Day
Responding to widespread environmental degradation, Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, called for an environmental teach-in, or Earth Day, to be held on April 22, 1970. Over 20 million people participated that year, and Earth Day is now observed on April 22 each year by more than 500 million people and several national governments in 175 countries.
Senator Nelson, an environmental activist, took a leading role in organizing the celebration, hoping to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda. He modeled it on the highly effective Vietnam War teach-ins of the time. The proposal for Earth Day was first proposed in a prospectus to JFK written by Fred Dutton. However, Nelson decided against much of Dutton's top-down approach, favoring a decentralized, grassroots effort in which each community shaped their action around local concerns.
Nelson had conceived the idea for Earth Day following a trip he took to Santa Barbara right after the horrific oil spill off the coast in 1969. Outraged by the devastation and Washington political inertia, Nelson proposed a national teach-in on the environment to be observed by every university campus in the U.S.
I am convinced that all we need to do to bring an overwhelming insistence of the new generation that we stem the tide of environmental disaster is to present the facts clearly and dramatically. To marshal such an effort, I am proposing a national teach-in on the crisis of the environment to be held next spring on every university campus across the Nation. The crisis is so imminent, in my opinion, that every university should set aside 1 day in the school year-the same day across the Nation-for the teach-in.
One of the organizers of the event said:
"We're going to be focusing an enormous amount of public interest on a whole, wide range of environmental events, hopefully in such a manner that it's going to be drawing the interrelationships between them and, getting people to look at the whole thing as one consistent kind of picture, a picture of a society that's rapidly going in the wrong direction that has to be stopped and turned around.
"It's going to be an enormous affair, I think. We have groups operating now in about 12,000 high schools, 2,000 colleges and universities and a couple of thousand other community groups. It's safe to say I think that the number of people who will be participating in one way or another is going to be ranging in the millions."
Nelson announced his idea for a nationwide teach-in day on the environment in a speech to a fledgling conservation group in Seattle on September 20, 1969, and then again six days later in Atlantic City to a meeting of the United Auto Workers. Senator Nelson hoped that a grassroots outcry about environmental issues might prove to Washington, D.C. just how distressed Americans were in every constituency. Senator Nelson invited Republican Representative Paul N “Pete” McCloskey to serve as his co-chair and they incorporated a new non-profit organization, environmental Teach-In, Inc., to stimulate participation across the country. Both continued to give speeches plugging the event.
"Rising concern about the "environmental crisis" is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems, analogous to the mass demonstrations on Vietnam, is being planned for next spring, when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...."
Denis Hayes, a Harvard graduate student, read the NYT article and traveled to Washington to get involved. He had been student body president and a campus activist at Stanford University in McCloskey’s district and where Teach-In board member Paul Ehrlich was a professor. He thought he might be asked to organize Boston. Instead, Nelson eventually asked Hayes to drop out of Harvard, assemble a staff, and direct the effort to organize the United States. Hayes would go on to become a widely recognized environmental advocate.
Hayes recruited a handful of young college graduates to come to Washington, D.C. and began to plan what would become the first Earth Day.
Nelson's suggestion was difficult to implement, as the Earth Day movement proved to be autonomous with no central governing body. As Senator Nelson attests, it simply grew on its own:
Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.
On April 22, 1970, Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, Freeway and expressway revolts, the loss of wilderness, and air pollution suddenly realized they shared common values.
Media coverage of the first Earth Day included a One-Hour Prime-time CBS News Special Report called "Earth Day: A Question of Survival," with correspondents reporting from a dozen major cities across the country, and narrated by Walter Cronkite (whose backdrop was the Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia's logo).
 Earth Day 1970 in New York City
In the winter of 1969-1970, a group of students met at Columbia University to hear Denis Hayes talk about his plans for Earth Day. Among the group were Fred Kent, Pete Grannis, and Kristin and William Hubbard. This New York group agreed to head up the New York City part of the national movement. Fred Kent took the lead in renting an office and recruiting volunteers. "The big break came when Mayor Lindsay agreed to shut down 5th Avenue for the event. A giant cheer went up in the office on that day," according to Kristin Hubbard (now Kristin Alexandre). 'From that time on we used Mayor Lindsay's offices and even his staff. I was Speaker Coordinator but had tremendous help from Lindsay staffer Judith Crichton."
In addition to shutting down Fifth Avenue, Mayor Lindsay made Central Park available for Earth Day. The crowd was estimated as more than one million—by far the largest in the nation. Since New York was also the home of NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times, Time, and Newsweek, it provided the best possible anchor for national coverage from their reporters all over the country.
 Earth Day 1970 in Philadelphia
Edward Furia (left) and Austan Librach (right) in a meeting in early 1970 with the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, in which they raised $30,000 to fund Earth Day activities and expose the city's worst polluters.
U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie speaking to an estimated 40-60,000 at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia on Earth Day, 1970
Earth Day 1970 in Philadelphia gave birth to Earth Week, April 16–22. It was created by a committee of students (mostly from University of Pennsylvania), professionals, leaders of grass roots organizations and businessmen concerned about the environment and inspired by Senator Gaylord Nelson’s call for a national environmental teach-in. The Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia concluded that devoting only one day to the environment would not provide enough time and space to paint a comprehensive picture of the environmental issues confronting mankind. While all of their activities would build toward a climactic Earth Day celebration on April 22, there would also be an entire week of events in the week preceding.
Austan Librach, a regional planning graduate student, assumed the role of Committee Chairman and hired Edward Furia, who had just received his City Planning and Law Degrees from University of Pennsylvania, to be Project Director. The core group from Penn was joined in 1970 by students from other area colleges which, working together, organized scores of educational activities, scientific symposia and major mass media events in the Delaware Valley Region in and around Philadelphia. The Earth Week Committee of 33 members settled on a common objective—to raise public awareness of environmental problems and their potential solutions.
U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie was the keynote speaker on Earth Day in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Other notable attendees included consumer protection activist and presidential candidate Ralph Nader; Landscape Architect Ian McHarg; Nobel prize-winning Harvard Biochemist, George Wald; U.S. Senate Minority Leader, Hugh Scott; and poet, Allen Ginsberg. Forty years later, the Earth Week Committee decided to make rare photos, video and other previously unpublished information about the history of Earth Week 1970 available to the public at EarthWeek.us.
Many cities now extend the observance of Earth Day events to an entire week, usually starting on April 16 and ending on Earth Day, April 22. These events are designed to encourage environmentally aware behaviors, such as recycling, using energy efficiently, and reducing or reusing disposable items.
 Results of Earth Day 1970
Earth Day proved popular in the United States and around the world. The first Earth Day had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform."
Senator Nelson stated that Earth Day "worked" because of the response at the grassroots level. Twenty-million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities participated. He directly credited the first Earth Day with persuading U.S. politicians that environmental legislation had a substantial, lasting constituency.
It is now observed in 175 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, according to whom Earth Day is now "the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a half billion people every year." Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action which changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.
 Earth Day 20 and Earth Day 1990
Mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting the status of environmental issues onto the world stage, Earth Day activities in 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Unlike the first Earth Day in 1970, this 20th Anniversary was waged with stronger marketing tools, greater access to television and radio, and multimillion-dollar budgets.
Two separate groups formed to sponsor Earth Day events in 1990: The Earth Day 20 Foundation, assembled by Edward Furia (Project Director of Earth Week in 1970), and Earth Day 1990, assembled by Denis Hayes (National Coordinator for Earth Day 1970). Senator Gaylord Nelson, the original founder of Earth Day, was honorary chairman for both groups. The two did not combine forces over disagreements about leadership of combined organization and incompatible structures and strategies. Among the disagreements, key Earth Day 20 Foundation organizers were critical of Earth Day 1990 for including on their board Hewlett Packard, a company that at the time was the second-biggest emitter of chlorofluorocarbons in Silicon Valley and refused to switch to alternative solvents. In terms of marketing, Earth Day 20 had a grassroots approach to organizing and relied largely on locally based groups like the National Toxics Campaign, a Boston-based coalition of 1,000 local groups concerned with industrial pollution. Earth Day 1990 employed strategies including focus group testing, direct mail fund raising, and email marketing.
The Earth Day 20 Foundation highlighted it's April 22 activities in George, Washington, near the Columbia River with a live satellite phone call with members of the historic Earth Day 20 International Peace Climb who called from their base camp on Mount Everest to pledge their support for world peace and attention to environmental issues. The Earth Day 20 International Peace Climb was led by Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest (many years earlier), and marked the first time in history that mountaineers from the United States, Soviet Union and China had roped together to climb a mountain, let alone Mt. Everest. The group also collected over two tons of trash (transported down the mountain by support groups along the way) that was left behind on Mount Everest from previous climbing expeditions. The master of ceremonies for the Columbia Gorge event was the TV star, John Ratzenberger, from "Cheers", and the headlining musician was the "Father of Rock and Roll," Chuck Berry.
 Earth Day 2000
Earth Day 2000 combined the ambitious spirit of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. This was the first year that Earth Day used the Internet as its principal organizing tool, and it proved invaluable domestically and internationally. Kelly Evans, a professional political organizer, served as Executive Director of the 2000 campaign. The event ultimately enlisted more than 5,000 environmental groups outside the United States, reaching hundreds of millions of people in a record 183 countries. Leonardo DiCaprio was the official host for the event, and about 400,000 participants stood in the cold rain during the course of the day.
 Subsequent Earth Day Events
To turn Earth Day into a sustainable annual event rather than one that occurred every 10 years, Senator Nelson and Bruce Anderson, New Hampshire's lead organizer in 1990, formed Earth Day USA. Building on the momentum created by thousands of community organizers around the world, Earth Day USA coordinated the next five Earth Day celebrations through 1995, including the launch of EarthDay.org. Following the 25th Anniversary in 1995, the coordination baton was handed to Earth Day Network.
As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focusing on global warming and pushing for clean energy. The April 22 Earth Day in 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. For 2000, Earth Day had the Internet to help link activists around the world. By the time April 22 came around, 5,000 environmental groups around the world were on board, reaching out to hundreds of millions of people in a record 184 countries. Events varied: A talking drum chain traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, for example, while hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., USA.
Earth Day 2007 was one of the largest Earth Days to date, with an estimated billion people participating in the activities in thousands of places like Kiev, Ukraine; Caracas, Venezuela; Tuvalu; Manila, Philippines; Togo; Madrid, Spain; London; and New York.
 The Earth Day Name
According to Senator Nelson, the moniker "Earth Day" was "an obvious and logical name" suggested by "a number of people" in the fall of 1969, including, he writes, both "a friend of mine who had been in the field of public relations" and "a New York advertising executive," Julian Koenig. Koenig, who had been on Nelson's organizing committee in 1969, has said that the idea came to him by the coincidence of his birthday with the day selected, April 22; "Earth Day" rhyming with "birthday," the connection seemed natural. Other names circulated during preparations—Nelson himself continued to call it the National Environment Teach-In, but press coverage of the event was "practically unanimous" in its use of "Earth Day," so the name stuck.
 Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network was founded by Denis Hayes and the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970 and by other national organizers, including Pam Lippe, to promote environmental activism and year-round progressive action, domestically and internationally. Earth Day Network members include NGOs, quasi-governmental agencies, local governments, activists, and others. Earth Day Network members focus on environmental education; local, national, and global policies; public environmental campaigns; and organizing national and local earth day events to promote activism and environmental protection. The international network reaches over 19,000 organizations in 192 countries, while the domestic program engages 10,000 groups and over 100,000 educators coordinating millions of community development and environmental-protection activities throughout the year.
In observance of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Network created multiple global initiatives, ranging from a Global Day of Conversation with mayors worldwide, focusing on bringing green investment and building a green economy; Athletes for the Earth Campaign that brings Olympic, professional, and every day athletes' voices to help promote a solution to climate change; a Billion Acts of Green Campaign which will aggregate the millions of environmental service commitments that individuals and organizations around the world make each year; to Artist for the Earth, a campaign the involves hundreds of arts institutions and artists worldwide to create environmental awareness. EDN mobilized 1.5 billion people in 170 countries to participate in these global events and programs.
EDN has helped create Earth Day organizations worldwide.
 Earth Day Canada
Paul Tinari (Organizer) and Flora MacDonald MPP, Officially Open the First Canadian Earth Day in Kingston, Ontario
The first Canadian Earth Day was held on Thursday, September 11, 1980, and was organized by Paul D. Tinari, then a graduate student in Engineering Physics/Solar Engineering at Queen's University. Flora MacDonald, then MP for Kingston and the Islands and Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, officially opened Earth Day Week on September 6, 1980 with a ceremonial tree planting and encouraged MPs and MPPs across the country to declare a cross-Canada annual Earth Day. The principal activities taking place on the first Earth Day included educational lectures given by experts in various environmental fields, garbage and litter pick-up by students along city roads and highways as well as tree plantings to replace the trees killed by Dutch Elm Disease.
Earth Day Canada logo
Earth Day Canada (EDC), a national environmental charity founded in 1990, provides Canadians with the practical knowledge and tools they need to lessen their impact on the environment. In 2004, it was recognized as the top environmental education organization in North America, for its innovative year-round programs and educational resources, by the Washington-based North American Association for Environmental Education, the world's largest association of environmental educators. In 2008, it was chosen as Canada’s “Outstanding Non-profit Organization” by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. EDC regularly partners with thousands of organizations in all parts of Canada. EDC hosts a suite of six environmental programs: Ecokids, EcoMentors, EcoAction Teams, Community Environment Fund, Hometown Heroes and the Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program.
 History of the Equinox Earth Day
The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around March 20) to mark the precise moment of astronomical mid-spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical mid-autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time (not a whole day) when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly "above" the Earth's equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year. In most cultures, the equinoxes and solstices are considered to start or separate the seasons.
John McConnell in front of his home in Denver, Colorado with the Earth Flag he designed.
John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global holiday called "Earth Day" at the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. Celebrations were held in various cities, such as San Francisco and in Davis, California with a multi-day street party. UN Secretary-General U Thant supported McConnell's global initiative to celebrate this annual event; and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect, saying:
United Nations secretary-general Kurt Waldheim observed Earth Day with similar ceremonies on the March equinox in 1972, and the United Nations Earth Day ceremony has continued each year since on the day of the March equinox (the United Nations also works with organizers of the April 22 global event). Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, and in 1978 declared:
"EARTH DAY is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.
EARTH DAY draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way – which is also the most ancient way – by using the vernal Equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making the length of night and day equal in all parts of the Earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March Equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible, and a flag which shows the Earth, as seen from space, appropriate."
At the moment of the equinox, it is traditional to observe Earth Day by ringing the Japanese Peace Bell, which was donated by Japan to the United Nations. Over the years, celebrations have occurred in various places worldwide at the same time as the UN celebration. On March 20, 2008, in addition to the ceremony at the United Nations, ceremonies were held in New Zealand, and bells were sounded in California, Vienna, Paris, Lithuania, Tokyo and many other locations. The equinox Earth Day at the UN is organized by the Earth Society Foundation.
 April 22 observances
 Growing eco-activism before Earth Day 1970
In 1968, Morton Hilbert and the U.S. Public Health Service organized the Human Ecology Symposium, an environmental conference for students to hear from scientists about the effects of environmental degradation on human health. This was the beginning of Earth Day. For the next two years, Hilbert and students worked to plan the first Earth Day. In the spring of 1970—along with a federal proclamation from U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson—the first Earth Day was held.
Project Survival, an early environmentalism-awareness education event, was held at Northwestern University on January 23, 1970. This was the first of several events held at university campuses across the United States in the lead-up to the first Earth Day. Also, Ralph Nader began talking about the importance of ecology in 1970.
The 1960s had been a very dynamic period for ecology in the US. Pre-1960 grassroots activism against DDT in Nassau County, New York, had inspired Rachel Carson to write her bestseller, Silent Spring (1962).
 Significance of April 22
- Senator Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an "environmental teach-in". He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet; it did not fall during exams or spring breaks, did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22.
- April 22, 1970, was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin. Time reported that some suspected the date was not a coincidence, but a clue that the event was "a Communist trick", and quoted a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution as saying, "subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them." J. Edgar Hoover, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, may have found the Lenin connection intriguing; it was alleged the FBI conducted surveillance at the 1970 demonstrations. The idea that the date was chosen to celebrate Lenin's centenary still persists in some quarters although Lenin was never noted as an environmentalist.
- April 21 was the birthday of John Muir, who founded the Sierra Club. This was not lost on organizers who thought April 22 was Muir's birthday.
- April 22 is also the birthday of Julius Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, a national tree-planting holiday started in 1872. Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska in 1885, to be permanently observed on April 22. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation "the most common day for the state observances is the last Friday in April ... but a number of state Arbor Days are at other times in order to coincide with the best tree-planting weather." It has since been largely eclipsed by the more widely observed Earth Day, except in Nebraska, where it originated.
- April 22 is also the birthday of actor Eddie Albert (of Green Acres fame), who was a staunch environmentalist and spokesperson for The National Arbor Day Foundation. Albert spoke at the inaugural Earth Day ceremony in 1970.
 Earth Day ecology flag
Main article: Ecology Flag (American)
According to Flags of the World, the Ecology Flag was created by cartoonist Ron Cobb, published on November 7, 1969, in the Los Angeles Free Press, then placed in the public domain. The symbol is a combination of the letters "E" and "O" taken from the words "Environment" and "Organism," respectively. The flag is patterned after the United States' flag, with thirteen alternating-green-and-whites stripes. Its canton is green with a yellow theta. Later flags used either a theta or the peace symbol. Theta would later become associated with Earth Day.
As a 16-year-old high school student, Betsy Vogel, an environmental advocate and social activist who enjoyed sewing costumes and unique gifts, made a 4 x 6-foot (1.8 m) green-and-white "theta" ecology flag to commemorate the first Earth Day. Initially denied permission to fly the flag at C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, Vogel sought and received authorization from the Louisiana State Legislature and Louisiana Governor John McKeithen in time to display the flag for Earth Day.
Writer Alex Steffen, proponent of bright green environmentalism, charges that Earth Day has come to symbolize the marginalization of environmental protection, and the celebration itself has outlived its usefulness.
A May 5, 2009 editorial in The Washington Times contrasted Arbor Day with Earth Day, claiming that Arbor Day was a happy, non-political celebration of trees, whereas Earth Day was a pessimistic, political ideology that portrayed humans in a negative light.
 Earth Day 2010
 See also
- Earth Charter
- Earth flag
- Earth Hour
- Earth's Birthday Project
- Fossil Fools Day
- Green Apple Music & Arts Festival
- Green Festivals
- Green Office Week
- List of environmental dates
- List of environmental topics
- National Green Week
- Ozone Action Day
- Procession of the Species
- Sun-Earth Day
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- ^ Lewis, Jack (November 1985). "The Birth of EPA". United States Environmental Protection Agency.'.' Retrieved 25 April 2006.
- ^ Nelson, Gaylord. "How the First Earth Day Came About". Envirolink.org. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
- ^ "About Earth Day Network". www.earthday.org. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
- ^ "History of Earth Day". Earth Day Network. Retrieved April 25, 2006.
- ^ The Business of Earth Day The New York Times
- ^ a b The Business of Earth Day The New York Times
- ^ Business of Earth Day The New York Times
- ^ a b c http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=4oJvMfeQlr8C&dat=19900423&printsec=frontpage
- ^ a b Gerth, Jeff (April 23, 2000). "Peaceful, Easy Feeling Imbues 30th Earth Day". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/23/us/peaceful-easy-feeling-imbues-30th-earth-day.html?pagewanted=1. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- ^ a b Gaylord Nelson Papers, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Box 231, Folder 43.
- ^ "Origin Story". This American Life. 19 June 2009. No. 383. Retrieved on 26 July 2010.
- ^ Statement by Paul Leventhal on the 25th Anniversary of the Nuclear Control Institute , 6/21/2006
- ^ "Earth Day :: Cleaning Up Our Planet" Kidzworld.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-25.
- ^ Billion Acts of Green (Beta)
- ^ Tait, Teresa (July 23, 1980), "A Little Litter is Too Much", Kingston This Week
- ^ Wright, Sylvia (July 1980), "Canada's First Earth Day Scheduled for Sept. 11", The Kingston Whig Standard
- ^ "EarthSite". "EarthSite". http://www.earthsite.org. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- ^ "2004 Earth Day". United Nations "Cyberschoolbus".
- ^ Margaret Mead, "Earth Day," EPA Journal, March 1978.
- ^ "Japanese Peace Bell" United Nations "Cyberschoolbus". Retrieved April 25, 2006.
- ^ "Earth Society Foundation". "Earth Society Foundation". http://www.earthsocietyfoundation.org. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- ^ http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/f/findaid/findaid-idx?c=bhlead;cc=bhlead;view=text;rgn=main;didno=umich-bhl-07183
- ^ http://www.sph.umich.edu/about/timeline.html
- ^ http://ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=2535
- ^ "A Memento Mori to the Earth". Time. 1970-05-04. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,943782,00.html.
- ^ Finney, John W. (April 15, 1971). "Muski says FBI spied at rallies on '70 Earth Day". The New York Times: p. 1. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0917F73A5F127A93C7A8178FD85F458785F9.
- ^ "Of Leo and Lenin: Happy Earth Day from the Religious Right". Church & State 53 (5): 20. May 2000.
- ^ Marriott, Alexander (2004-04-21). "This Earth Day Celebrate Vladimir Lenin's Birthday!". Capitalism Magazine. http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3382. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- ^ "Arbor Day's Beginnings". The National Arbor Day Foundation. http://www.arborday.org/arborday/history.cfm. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- ^ "Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Make This Earth Day Your Last!". WorldChanging. http://www.worldchanging.com/archives//006520.html. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- ^ Arbor vs. Earth Day, The Washington Times, May 5, 2009
 External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Earth Day
Wikinews has related news: Earth Day 2008 marked in various ways
Wikinews has related news: Earth Day 2009 celebrated around the globe
- How the First Earth Day Came About by Senator Gaylord Nelson - Explaining the origins of the first Earth Day.
- EarthWeek.us | The First Earth Day and the Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia - The history of the First Earth Day in 1970, the founding of Earth Week, and the historic events of the first Earth Week in Philadelphia
- Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day: The Making of the Modern Environmental Movement - a narrative account of the origins of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson's political career, as well as online access to dozens of documents from the Wisconsin Historical Society's Nelson Papers collection
- Gaylord Nelson letter outlines the origins Earth Day - Nelson letter April 7, 1971 to CBS President Fred Stanton to correct TV news reporting about Earth Day's origins.
- Earth Day Network - Coordinating worldwide events for Earth Day.
- Earth Day Event Calendar at the EnviroLink Network
- Celebrate Earth Day How to Celebrate Earth Day from WikiHow
- Earth Day 2009 Special Coverage on China Development Gateway.
- United States Earth Day - The U.S. government's Earth Day site.
- Earth Day Canada - The Canadian Official Site for Earth Day
- Keep America Beautiful - Keep America Beautiful holds Earth Day cleanup activities in communities nationwide. The organization launched the famous Crying Indian campaign on Earth Day, 1971.
- Earth Day at The Nature Conservancy
- "Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise," by Gaylord Nelson, with Susan Campbell and Paul Wozniak, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2002
- - EPA Journal: Earth Day - an entire journal dedicated to Earth Day, written in early 1990.
- Earth Day at The History Channel
- Flower-pot Day/Earth Day
Equinoctial Earth Day
- Earth Society Foundation - Official organization arranging annual equinox Earth Day celebration at the United Nations
- Who Started Earth Day - The Origins of the equinox Earth Day.
Earth Day 2010
- Billion Acts of Green (Beta) - Official Earth Day Network's "Billion Acts of Green" website for students and young adults