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Earth Day History

Earth day first began in the United States in 1970. This celebration was started by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970.

April 22 was selected because of its location in the year. The day was originally meant to be an educational day, so Nelson wanted to ensure that college students were going to be in session during this day. He felt that more people would be reached if they were in class during this time.

Controversy immediately surrounded this day because it also happened to be the birthday of Vladimir Lenin. Nelson denied these accusations, but controversy still surrounds this coincidence.

Earth Day Then and Now


On the very first Earth Day, New York City decided to get involved by shutting down 5th Avenue as well as utilizing Central Park as the central area for celebrating. It was estimated that nearly one million people participated in New York City alone. Since New York City was the headquarters of all of the major news media, the very first Earth Day was highly publicized.

In Philadelphia, Earth week was created because of the very first Earth Day. The first group of people felt that devoting only one day to environmental awareness would not be enough time to have any actual impact on the planet. Instead, they held an entire week of events. This initial celebration was so popular that it immediately became a national holiday.

1990 marked the 20th celebration of Earth day. This celebration was much better publicized and as a result, more people participated. This year’s activities created a big boost towards worldwide recycling efforts. This was also the year that Earth Day went worldwide.

Earth Day is now celebrated in over 100 countries across the globe. Through the years Earth day evolved and many different organizations were formed including Earth Day USA which helped organize Earth day events throughout the United States. Earth day 2000 marked the first year that the day was organized primarily through the use of the internet. The internet allowed for better networking, and as a result thousands of activists were allowed to interact with one another and create a more organized event.

Earth Day Around the World

Earth Day events occur all across the globe. These events are meant to inspire not only the countries they are held in, but also people all over the world.

In Thailand, Monks from all across the country gather and participate in a mass meditation ceremony. This ceremony is meant to encourage world peace through creating inner peace among the group.

In Canada, Earth Day is actually celebrated all year by multiple wild life parks promoting better environmental practices.

In Spain, a festival is held each year that only uses eco-friendly products. During this festival attendees are able to celebrate through food and dancing. They are also educated on new ways to protect the environment.

In Bulgaria a world energy forum is held. This forum is attended by leaders from all over the world.

Costa Rica
combined Twitter and Earth Day creating an event called Twearth day. During Twarth day followers are able to follow events that are happening in the jungles of Costa Rica all week.

Regardless of where you might live, you can create your own Earth Day events as well. Just research the different events that are going on in the world around you.

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