Quick Intro: Earth Day 1970
Earth Day 1970 was the idea of Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. In 1969 Senator Nelson was growing increasingly concerned with the damage being done to the environment. During a speech on September 20, 1969, Senator Nelson called for a large scale protest all to take part all over the United States. This large scale protest would be Earth Day 1970.
For many years, Senator Nelson tried to get publicity for environmental issues. He felt that the government should be doing more to protect our waterways, our landscapes, and our animals. He felt he was not able to get the support he needed from the politicians in Washington DC. In 1969, Senator Nelson took notice of all the protests that were being staged for the anti-war and civil rights movements. Senator Nelson decided that a large protest could bring attention to the his cause as well. This idea would lead him to start a grass roots movement to organize this nationwide protest.
Earth Day 1970 was not organized as a single protest. Instead, it was multiple protests all over the United States. Each protest had it’s own organizational committee. The committee was responsible for overseeing an area. The committee for the New York City Earth Day 1970 celebration worked out of an office on 5th Avenue. The office was donated to the supporters by the Mayor of New York City. There were Earth Day 1970 offices located all across the United States.
The date of April 22 was chosen for reasons of convenience. Senator Nelson did not want the date to interfere with Easter nor Passover. He chose a Wednesday so that it would not overlap other events. This is why the date of Wednesday April 22, became the date for Earth Day 1970. On that date, over 20 million Americans walked and spoke out for the sake of their environment. The event was considered a huge success. Earth Day 1970 turned into an annual event growing larger and larger each year.