Every year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. On April 22, special trees are planted, garbage is removed, and people pay attention to the problems that threaten the planet, including climate change. In short, we can define April 22 as a day to raise awareness of the issues that threaten our planet. In honor of this special day, which marks its 53rd anniversary this year, we’ve rounded up 9 fascinating facts about Earth Day.
Earth Day 1 is the result of the tireless efforts of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and other environmentalists.
Environmental Senator Gaylord Nelson witnessed the aftermath of the 1969 California oil spill. This doubled his desire to raise environmental awareness. So on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was born.
2. Former US President John F. Kennedy also tried to draw attention to protecting the environment.
During his presidency, John F. Kennedy also worked to raise public awareness of environmental protection.
3. 20 million Americans took to the streets on the first Earth Day.
On April 22, 1970, protests, demonstrations, fundraisers, nature walks, performances, concerts, and community gatherings of all kinds took place in colleges, VFW halls, plazas, and parks throughout the United States. Pop culture icons such as Allen Ginsberg have been asked to speak on behalf of Mother Earth.
The date of the 4th Earth Day was chosen specifically for the mobilization of university students
Senator Nelson appointed Denis Hayes, then a graduate student at Harvard University, to lead the project. As a national coordinator, Hayes hired a large team. This team knew that college students had a critical role to play, just like in the Vietnamese protests of the time. The date Hayes chose for the first Earth Day was special. Because on most campuses, April 22 coincided with spring break and final exams.
Earth Day 5 has been criticized from the start
The first Earth Day was heavily criticized by conservative groups. Of course, people did not like that companies that harm the environment celebrate “Earth Day” once a year.
6. Although it first appeared in the United States, it is now celebrated all over the world.
In 1990, Earth Day began to be celebrated around the world with the participation of 200 million people from 141 countries.
7. April 22, also known as World Mother Earth Day.
In 2009, the UN General Assembly decided that April 22 would be World Mother Earth Day. Because the symbol of Mother Earth is something common in many countries and cultures.
8. In 2009, NASA planted “Moon Trees” in honor of Earth Day.
During the Apollo 14 mission to the Moon in 1971, astronaut Stuart Roosa brought with him the seeds of various trees. These seeds circled the Moon 34 times inside the module. Someone wondered if the effect of microgravity would affect the trees. It was believed that when the seeds returned, they could no longer germinate. However, the planted trees grew, surprising everyone. They were called “Moon Tree”.
9. The theme for 2023 was “Invest in our planet.”
Since Earth Day 2016, each year has a new theme. The topics chosen were Trees for the Earth in 2016, Environmental and Climate Literacy in 2017, Stop Plastic Pollution in 2018 and Save Our Species in 2019. This year’s theme is “Invest in our planet”.
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