I remember the establishment of this day. I took a summer class in college all about the environment in my country, Puerto Rico. I bought books, I read them all. I became aware of Bill McKibben (The End of Nature), Jeffrey Hollender (How To Make the World a Better Place), The Earthworks Group (50 Simple Things You Can Do series) and many more.
I was young, idealistic adult and a believer that my generation would change things.
As I look back today, it saddens me to see that I was wrong.
More than ever, there’s a lot of work to do today.
Earth Day 1970, 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.