Apr 22, 2010

Going Green - Happy 40th Earth Day :o)

Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, was determined to wake up the federal government to the fact that the earth was at risk. In 1969, Nelson, considered one of the leaders of the modern environmental movement, developed the idea for Earth Day after being inspired by the anti-Vietnam War "teach-ins" that were taking place on college campuses around the United States. According to Nelson, he envisioned a large-scale, grassroots environmental demonstration "to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda."

Nelson announced the Earth Day concept at a conference in Seattle in the fall of 1969 and invited the entire nation to get involved. As he later recalled: "The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air—and they did so with spectacular exuberance." Dennis Hayes, a young activist who had served as student president at Stanford University, was selected as Earth Day's national coordinator, and he worked with an army of student volunteers and several staff members from Nelson's Senate office to organize the project. According to Nelson: "Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself."

Link to History.com History of Earth Day.

Link to Nature Conservancy Earth Day.

Link to Earthday.net


  1. Excellent info, fellow human. A joyous Earth Day to you on this, our only home. So far...

  2. What foresight the good Senator had... and it has grown to a movement that is shaping the world and its future.

  3. As always great interesting info on your fantastic blog, thank you. Happy Earth Day!! Laine x

  4. Hi Ken,
    I remember when Earth Day seemed to be considered one of those 'way out there' holidays. I think it's come a long way ... more people realize the need to take care of our planet.

  5. Great remembrance of the first Earth Day.

  6. Dear Ken, thank you so much for this informative story about Earth Day!
    Happy Spring!

  7. we celebrated by recycling milk cartons all week and then added cafeteria trays. if i can get the okay we are going to recycle these two items the rest of the school year. we estimated that as a class, we were going to try for 20lbs in a week, so over the next 7 weeks that could be a whole lot of cardboard and styrofoam not going into landfills.

    we may also use your resources for our paper on recycling :D thanks!



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