EARTH DAY is an annual observance, held on April 22, to increase public awareness of environmental problems. Each year on Earth Day, millions of people throughout the world gather to clean up litter, to protest threats to the environment, and to celebrate progress in reducing pollution. Earth Day began in the United States. In 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord A. Nelson suggested that a day of environmental education be held on college campuses. The following year, the lawyer and environmentalist Denis Hayes, then a recent graduate of Stanford University, led hundreds of students in planning and organizing the first Earth Day. About 20 million people participated in the original observance on April 22, 1970.


The first Earth Day in 1970 helped alert people to the dangers of pollution and stimulated a new environmental movement. That same year, Congress created the Environmental protection Agency to set and enforce pollution standards. Congress also passed the Clean Air Act of 1970, which limited the amount of air pollution that cars, utilities, and industries could release. Other new environmental laws soon followed.

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the First Day of Spring, March 21, 1970 to be Earth DayEarth Day was firmly established for all time on a sound basis as an annual event to deepen reverence and care for life on our planet. While other dates have been called Earth Day it is obvious that a singular Earth Day is needed and that the original choice of nature's day is best. Every effort to encourage Earth care is to be commended. But just as more than one birthday each year for an individual would diminish the real birthday, calling other dates Earth Day detracts from the authentic day -- which can provide a more meaningful focus and obtain more unity in our diversity. The nature of the March equinox provides a reason for an event at the same time all over the world.

Other events leading up to or following could be called Earth Festivals, or given other names. Then events can complement each other and increase awareness and care for our planet and its people. In the midst of this will be Earth Day, where the United Nations Peace Bell rings at the moment Spring begins and hearts and minds join all over the world Earth Day 1979 was observed at the New York headquarters of the United Nations in cooperation with the Year of the Child. Several hundred children streamed across the street into the United Nations grounds, carrying and waving small (12" x 18". 31.5 x 47 cm.) flags which portrayed the Earth as seen from space

on a dark blue background.

At the last minute a volunteer had come up with the idea of distributing "Earth Flags" to the children, who were participating in the Earth Day program. By the time I learned of this they all had their flags. Knowing the stiff protocol at the United Nations, I asked the guards if it would be all right for then to carry the flags and was informed that they might carry them up to the gate, but must leave the flags there and pick them up as they left. Yet when they came through the gate no guard had the heart to ask for a flag and so the Earth

Flags added to our joyous celebration.

Micael S Gr.3