Date of Birth: March 22, 1915
Birthplace: Davis City, Iowa
Son of an independent evangelist, John McConnell was born
in Davis City, Iowa on March 22, 1915. His interest in religion,
science, and peace has resulted in a number of projects and personal efforts to relieve human suffering and promote the
common good. His interest has been in understanding human potentials and in seeking solutions to the crucial problems facing
RESEARCH LABORATORY - 1939
In 1939 John McConnell met Albert Nobell, (no relation
to Albert Nobel), a chemist with whom he founded the Nobell
Research Foundation in Los Angeles. Mr. McConnell served as Vice-President and business manager of the foundation. Their
laboratory developed a thermosetting plastic, and designed the first plastic plant on the west Coast, for its manufacture.
Thinking about conservation of nature led to development of a plastic using walnut shells. Through other research in the
laboratory, seeking uses for waste products, Mr. McConnell's concern for ecology grew.
WORLD WAR ll - 1943
During World War ll, Mr. McConnell took the position that
prayer and love could be more powerful than bombs, and he
conducted services aboard Merchant Marine vessels, on which he worked as a seaman. After World War ll and an
educational-missionary effort in Honduras, Mr. McConnell worked briefly as Registrar at Lincoln Law School in San
Francisco, California, and as a representative of the American Correspondence School.
WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS - 1956
Mr. McConnell and Erling Toness, an editor in North Carolina,
published a weekly newspaper, the Toe Valley View. Life
Magazine carried a feature story, "Trouble in the Toe Valley," about their efforts against local violence and corruption. On
October 31, 1957, (right after the first Sputnik) Mr. McConnell wrote an editorial entitled, "Make Our Satellite A Symbol Of
Hope," calling for peaceful cooperation in the exploration of Space with a visible "Star of Hope" Satellite. This editorial was
picked up by the wire services and reprinted in hundreds of newspapers. Mr. McConnell appeared on the Arline Francis
Show, the Today Show and other TV Network programs. This led Mr. McConnell to form a Star of Hope organization to
foster International Cooperation in Space. In pursuit of this goal, Mr. McConnell, in 1958, obtained support in Geneva of the
President of the Atoms for Peace Conference and other leaders, including Dr. Glen Seaborg of the United States and Professor
A. P. Alexandrov of the U.S.S.R.
In 1959, Mr. McConnell moved to California where he and
his co-publisher, Erling Toness, founded the "Mountain View." An
editorial in this weekly paper (April 19, 1961) urging a joint venture in Space with American Astronauts and Soviet
Cosmonauts was circulated in the White House, and given to Soviet officials. President Kennedy supported the idea, and later
President Nixon obtained agreement for a joint venture.
MEALS FOR MILLIONS - 1962
As Northern California Director of "Meals for Millions."
John McConnell formulated and organized a successful campaign in
San Francisco to feed thousands of Hong Kong refugees.
MINUTE FOR PEACE - 1963
For seven years after the Meals for Millions campaign,
Mr. McConnell worked on a "Minute For Peace" program. This began
with his obtaining global attention and participation in a Minute For Peace broadcast, which on December 22, 1963, ended the
period of mourning for President Kennedy.
On June 26, 1965, the 20th anniversary of the signing
of the United Nations Charter, Secretary General U Thant spoke for
Minute For Peace on world-wide radio. At that time, Mr. McConnell spoke at the National Education Association Convention
in Madison Square Garden where the participants joined in a silent "Minute For Peace." Later, in the conversations with NEA
officials, he urged silent prayer in schools.
WORLD EQUALITY, INC. and the EARTH FLAG - 1968
In 1968, Mr. McConnell incorporated "World Equality" to
foster the idea of equilibrium in nature and human society. He began
circulating his "Planetary Inheritance." The Earth Flag, designed by him after seeing the first photo of Earth in Life Magazine,
was featured in the "Whole Earth Catalogue" and is being used, here and there around the world, to show support of efforts to
help people and planet. In 1975 the Earth Flag was flown at the South Pole. The Earth Flag is a part of the Earth Day
Ceremony each year at the United Nations and is still being produced and used.
EARTH DAY and the EARTH DAY PROCLAMATION - 1969-1970
In working to elevate individual and international support
for stewardship of Earth, at the 1969 National UNESCO Conference
in San Francisco, Mr. McConnell proposed an Earth Day -- to celebrate Earth's life and beauty and to alert earthlings to the
need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depends.
In September of 1969, Mr. McConnell proposed Earth Day
to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The proposal won
strong support and was followed by an Earth Day Proclamation by the City of San Francisco. The idea, supported by U. N.
Secretary General U Thant, Margaret Mead and many others, spread worldwide. The ringing of the United Nations Peace Bell
at the moment of the March Equinox on Earth Day has become a tradition.
On his return to New York, John McConnell wrote an Earth
Day Proclamation for worldwide use. It incorporated rights and
responsibilities of Earth's people in the care of their planet. It was signed by U. N. Secretary General U Thant, Margaret Mead,
John Gardner and other concerned world leaders. Since then, others have added their signatures to show support for its
objectives. (Current total: 39) Most recent signatures are those of Yasir Arafat, Yehudi Menuhin and Cosmonaut Anatoli
Berezevoi, leaving space for one more signature.
Mr. McConnell instigated and was co-producer of a WOR-TV
12 Hour Special, called E-Day '72. Carried whole or in part
by over 60 stations, the program was an extensive study of environment, featuring national and international ecology experts,
and won many awards. At that time Mr. McConnell started using the term "Earth Trustee" to define people who were seeking
to make choices in their daily life that would benefit nature and society.
EARTH SOCIEY - 1973
Formed by John McConnell while attending the 1973 UNEP
Conference in Geneva, the Earth Society sought to make the care
of Earth, humanity's first objective, aiding this purpose through Earth Day, Earth Rights, Sea Citizens, and silent prayer or
Also, in 1973 Dr. Margaret Mead wrote an Earth Day Essay, featured by International News Service.
In 1976, with Margaret Mead and Frank Braynard of the
U. S. Bicentenial "Operation Sail," McConnell formed the Earth
Society Foundation, which later obtained 33 Nobel Laureates as Sponsors.
EARTH RIGHTS - 1974 (Planetary Inheritance - written in 1969)
In 1974, Mr. McConnell personally discussed his Earth
Right proposals with Sheik Yamani of Saudi Arabia, and other leading
delegates at the United Nations Raw Materials Conference. In an address at the United Nations Church Center on "Earth's
Resurrection" he stated, "Underlying property rights and sovereignty rights is the fundamental right of every person on Earth to
an equal share in Earth's raw materials and natural resources."
SEA CITIZENS - 1974
To foster Earth Care and Earth Right principles dealing
with the Sea, Mr. McConnell organized a "Sea Citizen" program
advocating protection and equal shares in the bounty of the sea. The organizing committee, headed by John McConnell,
included United Nations Ambassador Dr.
Arvid Pardo of Malta, Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon
and Frank O. Braynard, Founder of Operation Sail. To obtain
support, McConnell attended the Geneva "Law of the Sea." Conference.
EARTH CHARTER - 1979
This document, written by John McConnell, was featured
in a large sized illustrated poster. The poster was circulated and used
by many at the United Nations..
TRIP TO IRAN - 1980
Met with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to discuss hostage
crisis. Traveled to Iran, met with Mr Gamaroodi, Assistant to the
President of Iran, to discuss release.
77 THESIS - 1985
In 1985, Mr McConnell's "75 Theses on the Care of Earth"
was published. About a year later 2 Theses were added and now
"77 Theses" can be seen at Mr. McConnell's web site: www.earthsite.org.
EARTH MAGNA CHARTA - February, 1995
Mr. McConnell wrote the Earth Magna Charta, in which he
sought to incorporate the goals and policies needed for "peace,
justice and the care of Earth."
This document emerged from his previous efforts, experiences
and thinking. It describes the actions needed and how they can
be achieved by an Earth Trustee Formula:
"Let every individual and institution
now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in
ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence,
awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure."
Earth Trustees, Inc. 1933 Woodbine St. Ridgewood, NY 11385
Let us know who you are and become an Earth Trustee. Just fill out our
Send us your comments and suggestions by email.
Contributions to help our effort can be made out to "Earth Trustees, Inc." and sent to:
John McConnell, 1933 Woodbine Street, Ridgewood, NY 11385. Fax:718/366-7028.