Earth Day lands on April 22nd each and every year without fail but it wasn’t always so. This raises the question of why we celebrate Earth Day. The stage was set in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring but that doesn’t give a real answer to Earth Day’s origin. Let’s step back to 1970, where it all began.
The founder of Earth Day is Gaylord Nelson, formerly a Senator from Wisconsin. In 1969, there was a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California that deeply moved Nelson. From there, he rallied supporters in Congress and harnessed the public’s outcry against the Vietnam War.
Then, on April 22nd, 1970, 20 million Americans filled streets, parks, and auditoriums in a massive demonstration. The rally call combined the forces of wildlife preservation, pollution, toxic dumps, pesticides, and the loss of wilderness.
In other ways, Earth Day had no real borders, as all humans occupy the same planet (for now). Political parties, wealth classes, urban and rural, labor and business all found a common goal of preserving the Earth. As a result of the first Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency was founded and the Clear Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed.
Today, 45 years later, we still celebrate Earth Day in the fight to preserve our planet. Many communities even take part in Earth Week or Earth Month. Others create events throughout April in celebration. In all, more than a billion people participate, including us at Pfeiffer Plainfield Used Cars. You can too.