World Earth Day

In 1970, a ceremony was to be held in order to draw the attention of the world to the various problems being caused to the earth due to modernisation. Little was it expected that the event would turn into one of the biggest annual international events. Know all about World Earth Day, the special day observed in April every year to remind us to share a responsibility to protect our planet. If you like this article on the World Earth Day and want to have your dear ones read it too, just click here and pass on this page to them. Have a great time!

World Earth Day

Much like the Equinox Earth Day, the World Earth Day (or the April Earth Day) is the time to celebrate the progress made by mankind in the preservation of the planet and plan out better strategies for the betterment of the climate.

The World Earth Day is annually celebrated on April 22, a tradition that started on the same date in 1970.

The Earth Day celebrations in April originated due to the honest efforts of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. To quote the man himself:

"...the idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day."

In September 1969, Gaylord attended a conference in Seattle, Washington, where he announced his decision of organising a grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment in the spring of the following year. He invited everyone to participate in this programme. With highly enthusiastic support from the media, Gaylord's decision met with tremendous response from all and sundry. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. In Gaylord's own words, the American people "finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance."

On April 22, 1970, nearly 20 million American demonstrators took part in the first ever World Earth Day activities with the goal of a healthy, sustainable environment. Three months before the event, Gaylord had appointed Denis Hayes as coordinator of Earth Day activities. The first World Earth Day had Denis organizing massive coast-to-coast rallies with his young staff comprising of many college students. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the degradation of the environment, made worse by oil spills, polluting factories, power plants, improver waste disposal, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, deforestation and the extinction of wildlife.

The Earth Day in April 1970 proved a spectacular success. It marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement, lifting the status of environmental issues onto the world stage. Since then the holiday has come a long way, putting emphasis on the control of diverse types of pollution with each passing year. The World Earth Day in 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

With the turn of the millennium, the World Earth Day witnessed the dual issues of global warming and clean energy being brought into focus. The spread of Internet did much to link environmental activists around the world. Every year, more and more people associate with this wonderful event. World Earth Day 2007 was one of the largest Earth Days to date, with an estimated billion people participating in the activities in places like Kiev, Ukraine, Venezuela; Manila, Philippines, Madrid, Spain, London and New York.