Celebrated annually, Earth Day raises awareness of the need to protect our world as it becomes increasingly threatened by things like pollution, global warming and climate change.
Fundraising campaigns, environment panels, social media support and other events take place on April 22nd to ensure that people understand the importance of preserving our environment.
In 2022, the theme is “Invest In Our Planet,” which urges people to “preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods” by taking action to reverse climate issues.
Why is Earth Day celebrated on April 22nd? Read on to find out its origins…
The Firsr Earth Day Proposal
In 1969, peace activist John McConnell attended a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco where he proposed a day to honour the Earth and peace.
The idea came during a time where automobile use was drastically increasing and factories were pushing out lots of smoke.
In 1962, Rachel Carson’s published her New York Times bestseller Silent Spring which sold more than 500,000 copies and raised the need to protect the environment and public health.
John said that it should be observed on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, which would be March 21st 1970. However, the day was sanctioned in a letter signed by the United Nations.
Why it Earth Day Observed on April 22nd ?
A month later, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin proposed a nationwide environmental teach-in to be held on April 22nd 1970.
He had long been concerned about the deteriorating environment and persuaded a number of congressman and government officials to get on board.
The teach-in was to be held on campuses across America and the date, April 22nd, was chosen to maximise student participation because it falls in-between Spring Break and Final Exams.
However, they renamed it as “Earth Day” and the activism extended much further than just the classroom, with more than 20 million pouring out on the streets in protest.
The first Earth Day was a huge success, with everyone taking part, from Republicans to Democrats and rich to poor. Gaylord Nelson was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work.