Earth Day Fun Facts
Hello everyone! As you may have heard, the world celebrated Earth Day this past Friday, April 22nd. As sort of a late celebration, here are 10 fun facts about the history of the holiday!
The idea to have a day to celebrate the Earth was first conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in 1969. Well, actually, at the time, Senator Nelson just wanted to hold a national teach-in about environmentalism, but it eventually turned into the holiday we now know as Earth Day.
This idea was, unfortunately, sparked by the major January 1969 oil spill that happened off of the coast of Santa Barbara. At the time, it was the largest oil spill to ever be recorded in the US, and it was televised too.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970. It had a pretty awesome turn out of about 20M Americans, which was 10% of the nation’s population at the time.
Earth Day is held on April 22nd every year, but did you know that the date was purposefully chosen? Senator Nelson and his partner, then-grad student Denis Hayes, partly selected the date since it lay between colleges’ spring break and final exams, and at the time, college students were the group most likely to participate in such an event.
Earth Day was celebrated in just the US until 1990. By that point, the campaign began to spread internationally, and that year’s demonstration had around 200M members from 141 different countries.
Earth Day is partly responsible for the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). How cool!
Every year, Earth Day has a different theme. This year’s theme was “Invest In Our Planet”, which called for people to “act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably),” according to the official Earth Day website.
Did you know that Earth Day has its own theme song? In 2013, Indian poet Abhay Kumar wrote the song “Earth Anthem”. The UN has since had it recorded in all of its official languages. Check out the English version below!
In a 2009 resolution, The UN General Assembly deemed April 22 as “International Mother Earth Day”, but this name has not caught on in the US and a few other countries.
Lastly, about a billion or so people participate in Earth Day every year. If you’re not one of them, please consider joining us in celebrating our beautiful Mother Earth and everything she’s done for us, but more importantly, working to restore her to her original condition.
If you’d like to learn more about Earth Day, check out the official website at https://www.earthday.org/. Until next time, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Earth Day!