Earth Day in the United States

Earth Day in the United States

Earth Day in the United States takes place every year on 22nd April.  The ‘Father of Earth Day’ was US senator Gaylord Nelson, who promoted environmental activities and actions from 1962 onwards.  Gaylord convinced the then US president, John F Kennedy, to tour the country in order to support environmental causes, although this first effort failed to create enough national concern to spark change at a political level.

This did not deter Nelson, who proceeded to continue his pursuit of increasing concern about environmental actions and issues.  It was in 1970 that he first came up with the idea of a National Earth Day and it ended up becoming the very first nationwide environmental protest “to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda”.  The timing proved to be right and on 22nd April 1970 the initial Earth Day protest was greeted with an astounding level of support.

During the first Earth Day around 20 million people all over the United States took to the streets to show their support for the environment and protested against practices that harmed it.

Although such protests were very much in the zeitgeist at the time, it nonetheless made a huge impact and resulted in a greater awareness of the fact that there are limited resources on our planet, that the ecosystem is finite and self-contained, and that we are affected by the things we put in the earth, air and water.