Earth Day History


The history behind the initiative of Earth Day goes back to 1969 when Time Magazine brought to light the picture of Cleveland Cuyahoga River which had burnt as a result of the oil slick.

Such a shocking photograph acted like a kick to enlighten peoples’ and politicians' minds to pull up their socks and get together for the protection of Mother Earth.

Geylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Senator who was himself a witness to similar oil spills in California’s Santa Barbara region, took charge of the situation and organized a “national teach-in”. Nelson along with Pete McCloskey organized a movement to prevent the oil spill, air pollution, wilderness, destruction toxic dumps, and help endangered species from extinction.

This Earth Day was first suggested by John McDonnell in the year 1969 during a UNESCO conference on environment. The first Earth Day was celebrated on 20th April 1970. With a huge crowd to participate in the celebrations under the purview of Republican Mayor John Lindsey of New York, California witnessed the highest enthusiasm.

It was only after a few years from then that the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Environmental Protection Agency and Endangered Species Act saw the light of reality.


Although Earth Day was initially observed once in ten years time, Senator Nelson along with the hand of help from Bruce Anderson, the prime organizer of Earth Day 1990, New Hampshire, transformed this event into an annual affair for greater awareness and impact on peoples’ minds. Earthday.Org, established in 1995, helped to propagate the cause and consequences of preserving earth by reaching out every nook and corner via World Wide Web.

Last Updated: 5th April,2018