Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's Earth Day

Every year on April 22, trees are planted, litter is cleaned up, and awareness for the issues plaguing the planet are raised. In honor of the holiday, now in its 48th year, I thought I would post 2 facts about Earth Day.

Children sweeping a city park in New York City on Earth Day, circa 1970s.

The first Earth Day marked a strange combination of boisterous rallies and sober reflection on the state of the planet. Protests, demonstrations, fundraisers, nature walks, speeches, concerts, and every sort of civic gathering imaginable took place at colleges, VFW halls, public squares, and parks across the United States on April 22, 1970. Environmental crusaders found themselves thrust into the limelight, and pop culture icons like poet Allen Ginsberg were asked to speak on behalf of Mother Earth. Some of the more colorful displays of the day included mock trials for polluting objects, like an old Chevrolet, which was sentenced to death by sledgehammer. (The car ultimately survived the beating and was donated to an art class.) In New York City, Earth Day celebrations effectively shut down parts of the city. Twenty thousand people packed into Union Square to see Paul Newman and hear a speech by Mayor John Lindsay, who arrived on an electric bus.

Students assemble a globe on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 1995.

With bipartisan support in Congress and thousands of civic demonstrations across the country, support for environmental reform in 1970 was undeniable. According to the EPA, "Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25 percent of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2500 percent increase over 1969." The 1970s saw the passage of the most comprehensive environmental legislation in U.S. history, including the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. In addition, just 8 months after the first Earth Day, Richard Nixon approved the creation of a new organization tasked with monitoring the nation’s natural assets: the Environmental Protection Agency.

Even my favorite Peanuts "kids" plant a tree on Earth Day :)

I leave you with my quote, "Every day is Earth Day. Let us observe it as such."  Until next time dear friends have a day and weekend of blessings.


  1. I think Earth Day started off being a good, all the protests and such leave are garbage, not rally proving the point of Earth Day...does that make sense?

    Hope you have a beautiful day friend...its overcast and quit chilly here in Western NY.

  2. My daughter and her family are helping clean up the town where they live.
    Happy Earth Day and everyday,Toni

  3. I do love to see people join together on Earth Day to clean up and plant trees. Have a great day.

  4. Glad to see the tree planting. Its nice to see things neat, clean and green!
    Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday Toni.


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