The Dial Newspaper
Each year Earth Day is celebrated worldwide with fundraisers and environment efficient activities, but what really is Earth Day all about? Let’s start with Earth Day’s establishment, which almost didn’t happen. You can give your thanks to Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson of 1963. Senator Nelson was always a pro-earth believer, but after witnessing first hand the disasters that ruin our planet, such as the California oil spill of 1969, he decided to get down to business. Nelson had a very difficult time raising awareness, and barely anyone knew about the level of absolute filth the world was coming to.
The senator even persuaded President Kennedy to go on a tour of 11 states to discuss the issue, but still no one was interested in the welfare of the environment. Finally, seven years later, Nelson succeeded in establishing Earth Day of April 22, 1970. The first Earth Day was filled with rallies, protests, nature walks, speeches, and more. Still, not everyone supported mother earth’s day of acknowledgement. Many thought there were other more important matters to attend to, much so politically. Journalist I.F. Stone, during the time of the crisis, stated, “The country is slipping into a wider war in Southeast Asia and we’re sitting here talking about litterbugs.”
But the spirit of the larger majority kept not only the national day alive, but the concept of it too. “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25% of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2,500 percent increase over 1969,” reads the research of EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency that was later invented by Earth Day enthusiasts. Eventually, Earth Day spread worldwide and has become the world’s largest secular civic event.
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