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Earth Day


Earth Day 2011

The History of Earth Day

Every April 22nd, people across the country and around the world observe Earth Day. This annual celebration helps renew our commitment to building a safer, healthier, and cleaner world.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and more than 20 million people participated. Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, took a leading role in organizing and implementing the event, which he hoped would demonstrate widespread political support for an environmental agenda.

Earthday Logo 2010

According to the Earth Day Network, the first event "achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts." One of the Earth Day Network's signature programs is the Global Water Network, a program designed to raise awareness about water issues and to help construct water and sanitation projects were they are most needed.

Earth Day is now celebrated in 175 countries and, in many communities, has been expanded to Earth Week beginning on April 16th and ending on the traditional Earth Day.

To learn more about Earth Day, visit the Earth Day Network Web site at www.earthday.org.