On This Day, April 22, 1970 – US Comes Together to Celebrate First Earth Day

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1970 – Earth Day, an event to increase public awareness of the world’s environmental problems, is celebrated in the United States for the first time. Millions of Americans, including students from thousands of colleges and universities, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs.

Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, a staunch environmentalist who hoped to provide unity to the grassroots environmental movement and increase ecological awareness. “The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy,” Senator Nelson said, “and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.” Earth Day indeed increased environmental awareness in America, and in July of that year the Environmental Protection Agency was established by special executive order to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation.

Loads of chemicals and hazardous wastes have been introduced into the atmosphere that didn’t even exist in 1948. The environmental condition of the planet is far worse than it was 42 years ago.

– Sen. Gaylord Nelson

On April 22, 1990, the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, more than 200 million people in 141 countries participated in Earth Day celebrations.

Earth Day has been celebrated on different days by different groups internationally. The United Nations officially celebrates it on the vernal equinox, which usually occurs about March 21.


1500 – Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered Brazil.

1509 – Henry VIII ascended to the throne of England upon the death of his father Henry VII.

1529 – Spain and Portugal divided the eastern hemisphere in the Treaty of Saragosa.

1792 – U.S. President George Washington proclaimed American neutrality in the war in Europe.

1861 – Robert E. Lee was named commander of Virginia forces.

1864 – The U.S. Congress passed legislation that allowed the inscription “In God We Trust” to be included on one-cent and two-cent coins.

1876 – The first official National League (NL) baseball game took place. Boston beat Philadelphia 6-5.

1889 – At noon, the Oklahoma land rush officially started as thousands of Americans raced for new, unclaimed land.


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1914 – Babe Ruth made his pitching debut with the Baltimore Orioles.


1915 – At the Second Battle Ypres the Germans became the first country to use poison gas.

1915 – The New York Yankees wore pinstripes and the hat-in-the-ring logo for the first time.

1931 – James G. Ray landed an autogyro on the lawn of the White House.

1952 – An atomic test conducted in Nevada was the first nuclear explosion shown on live network television.

1954 – The U.S. Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings began.

1969 – The Who gave their first complete live performance of the rock opera “Tommy” at a show in Dolton, England.

1993 – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, DC.

2000 – Elian Gonzalez was reunited with his father. He had to be taken from his Miami relatives by U.S. agents in a predawn raid.

2010 – The Boeing X-37 began its first orbital mission. It successfully returned to Earth on December 3, 2010.

 

Source: On-this-Day.com; History.com

 

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