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Government»Celebrate Earth Day 2010 on April 22

»Friday, April 16,2010

Earth Day was the brain child of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin who first announced the idea of a nationwide environmental teach-in a speech in 1969. The senator had hoped for a grassroots outcry over environmental issues to prove to the government in Washington D.C. that the public did care about them but even he had not expected the around 20 million participants nationwide that turned up on the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

Earth Day Is a Global Movement

Today, the tremendous success of that first Earth Day is seen as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Since then, Earth Day has grown steadily, already reaching ten times the participation in 1990 when 200 million people in 141 countries participated, picking recycling as their main issue.

In 2000, the event had grown further: Hundreds of thousands of people from 184 nations participated in Earth Day, focusing on global warming and clean energy. The Internet played a big role in connecting and organizing so many people. Earth Day 2007 has so far been the biggest event with over a billion people mobilizing worldwide for the big day.

Earth Week Takes Place April 16-22

The first Earth Week was celebrated in Philadelphia, also in 1970 as an extension of Earth Day. The local Earth Day Committee comprised of students, professionals, grass roots organizations and businesses agreed that devoting only one day to teachings about the environment was not enough. They decided on a whole week, every year from April 16th to April 22nd, to not only raise awareness about environmental problems but to also find solutions.

Among the first 33 members of the First Earth Week Committee were many prominent personalities: U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie, known for his historic Clean Air Act of 1970; environmental activist and later presidential candidate Ralph Nader; biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Georg Wald; poet Allen Ginsberg and many others.
Earth Day History - Then and Now

Regardless if one celebrates a whole day or a whole week, Earth Day and Earth Week have become important environmental, financial, social and cultural events. Gearing up for Earth Day more than four decades ago, the year 1969 provided a turbulent backdrop: the Vietnam War had reached its peak, thousands of people protested against the war in the United States alone, the Woodstock concert was held and Richard Nixon became the 37th President of the United States.

The year 2009 did not provide a less dramatic backdrop for this year’s Earth Day: U.S. combat missions were still taking place in Iraq, H1N1 or swine flu was officially declared a worldwide pandemic, entertainer Michael Jackson’s death shocked the world and Barack Obama became the 44th and first African American President of the United States.

Today, the Internet, social networking and many technical gadgets make the Earth Week and Earth Week activities truly interactive with participants connecting and cooperating worldwide. Many national Earth Day chapters have formed as well as the Earth Day Network at that provides quick and easily accessible information.

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