On Tuesday, April 22, is the 44th Earth Day. On Earth Day, the United States and other countries around the world will hold events to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Growing up, I have always wondered on how Earth Day came to an existence and what the significance of it was. So when I saw the opportunity to write an article about Earth Day, I decided to take it upon myself to research the subject.
Earth Day got its start in the springtime of the 1970s. In the spring of 1970, there were two known holdings of Earth Day. The first holding on Earth Day was by U.S. Senator Nelson. He had held the first noted holding of Earth Day on April 22, 1970 in San Francisco, California. This event was a nationwide teach–in day about the environment. The structure of Senator Nelsons event was modeled on the anti–war teach-in that was demonstrations during the Vietnam war when protesters successfully educated people about their issues.
However, according to Larry West’s article about the first holding of Earth Day, it wasn’t U.S. Senator Nelson who held the first Earth Day. San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto actually held the first Earth Day a month prior to Senator Nelson. San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto had issued the first-ever Earth Day proclamation on March 21, 1970. Alioto’s holding was inspired by John McConnell, who had attended the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment. John McConnell suggested that there should be some sort of holiday that focused on the environment stewardship and preservation. McConnell suggested that there should be a day that honors the environment, and should be held on March 21st or 22nd, because the spring equinox is held on one of those dates. Roughly a year later, in February 1971, UN Secretary General U Thant supported McConnell’s proposal for an annual global Earth Day celebration at the March equinox, and issued a proclamation to make it official.
Communities and organizations across the nation hold a variety of community events to honor Earth Day. In Sacramento, the community is holding an Earth Day event at the Southside Park. On Saturday April 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Environmental Council of Sacramento will be holding an event to celebrate Earth Day. The theme of the event will draw attention to the issue of water scarcity, and the event will be filled with food, entertainment, interactive activities, cultural and government organizations with invaluable and practical information, goods and services for saving money, living healthier, and protecting the celebrating the environment.
Since Earth Day began in San Francisco, there will be an event held at the U.N. Plaza/ Civic Center on April 19. This event will contain three stages of multi-cultural music and performances, keynote speakers, interactive D.I.Y. workshops, green-economy and businesses info, youth empowerment groups, talks from Indigenous Community Leaders, and so much more!
If you’re not able to participate in any events in your community for Earth Day, there are a variety of things you can do on April 22. You can celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree or a garden, learn about the environment, reduce, reuse, and recycle all day long, clean up litter, engage others in conversations about either Earth Day or your environmental concerns, and lastly, consider taking public transportation or riding your bike places.