As we see the possible elimination of the Environmental Protective Agency, it will be more important than ever to encourage Earth Day activities.
The idea for Earth Day is attributed to Gaylord Nelson, a former U. S. Senator from Wisconsin, after he witnessed the ravages of a massive oil spill at Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement active at the time, Nelson realized that if he could infuse that same kind of energy and commitment and with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Nelson announced to the national media the idea for a "national teach-in" to make people aware about dangers to the environment. He then persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded U.S. House Of Representatives member, to serve as co-chair and they recruited Denis Hayes to be the National Coordinator. Hayes built a staff of 85 to promote events across the nation.
As a result, on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
In 1995, President Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians in the United States, for a lifetime of service and his role as Founder of earth day.
Reuse, recycle, and celebrate Earth Day 2017! Gerald will be taking 6 TIRES to the Fayette County Fairgrounds as a part of the FAYETTE SWCD (Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District) "scrap tire amnesty" program.