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Things You Maybe Did Not Know About Earth Day

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Happy Earth Day!
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April 22nd is Earth Day, meaning today is the day we celebrate the Earth and work to educate on climate change and other related issues. Earth Day is commonly celebrated in various ways. Many communities hold events to encourage people to improve their treatment of the planet. There are often tree planting events, farmers markets, and so much more! With the international celebrations of Earth Day, going back to the first one in 1970, Earth Day has become a cornerstone of the environmentalist movement. Here are some facts you may not know about this important day.

Earth Day was founded by a Senator and a Graduate Student.

In 1969, off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, there was a massive oil spill. This event inspired Senator Gaylord Nelson, who represented Wisconsin, to launch a day dedicated to spready environmental consciousness. With the assistance of a Harvard graduate student named Denis Hayes, Nelson founded the first official Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

The oil spill was not the only event that led to Earth Day.

In the 1960s, environmentalism started to gain traction overall. A book brought much attention to the topic in 1962 when Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, a book that is now seen as essential reading on environmental studies. Additionally, there was the now famous Cuyahoga River Fire, which occurred in the same year as the oil spill in Santa Barbara. There were also many other movements happening on their own that stem from environmentalism but did not work together on that front. Issues regarding air pollution, pesticides, and water use were all actively being discussed, but as separate things. Nelson saw all of these events as signs that something needed to be done.

The first Earth Day was a massive success.

Over 20 million people in the United States alone participated in the first Earth Day. There was an event in Manhattan in which people demonstrated with protests and a street cleaning project. Fifth Avenue was completely shut down by the massive crowd that showed up and participated. There was nothing but joy and positivity in the air as they worked hard to draw attention to Earth, its needs, and our need to take better care of it.

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