Hard to believe it’s been 43 years since the very first Earth Day! Since today is “Flashback Friday” as we celebrate our 40th anniversary, and Monday is Earth Day, we thought we’d take a look back to Earth Day 1973.
Back in the late 1960s people became more aware of industrial pollution causing great harm to not only our environment, but to our health. People drove huge, heavy V-8 engine cars that guzzled leaded gas, factories belched black smoke into the air unmitigated, and rivers ran with toxic sludge. Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was published in 1962, alerting even more people to the growing problem. In response to this increasing concern, and after seeing the disastrous 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson was inspired to create a national celebration around the budding environmental movement.
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, with 20 million people across the United States participating, to educate people about cleaning up our planet and protecting our precious natural resources. The concern engendered from the event helped result in the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act, and the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”
Forty plus years after the first Earth Day, as a society we continue to work through the issues surrounding the environment. We continue to work towards developing clean energy resources, and promote clean and healthy products, all for the betterment of our environment and for the health of us all and for future generations.
Here are some great links to sites for information about Earth Day, the environment and practical ways to “go green!”
And stay tuned for Monday as we’re doing something special for Earth Day!