Earth Day 50th Anniversary
Today the world celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.
The very first Earth Day was organized by environmental activist Dennis Hayes on April 22, 1970.
Some 20 million people across the United States (about one tenth of the country’s population at the time), from thousands of schools, colleges, universities and communities, took part in demonstrations, marches, and environmental cleanups.
New York City closed down parts of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street for its celebration. A New York Times article covering the day’s event stated, “If the environment had any enemies, they did not make themselves known. Political leaders, governmental departments and corporations have lined up in the ranks of those yearning for a clean, quiet, fume‐free city.”
Earth Day 1970 provided a voice to an emerging environmental consciousness, and it put environmental concerns on the front page. The event achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of other first-of-their-kind environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. Two years later Congress passed the Clean Water Act. A year after that, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act and soon after the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws have protected millions of men, women and children from disease and death and have protected hundreds of species from extinction.
Read about State Representative Daylin Leach’s vision for the environment by clicking the link below: