Earth Day Primer: Some Fun Facts

1 by Doug Gunzelmann

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Earth Day 2009 will be here in a few days and to get you ready we've compiled some fun facts, anecdotes, and tidbits!

  • John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global holiday called "Earth Day" at a UNESCO Conference on the Environment in 1969. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970

  • 20 million Americans participated in this first Earth Day celebration

  • This occurred during a time of great concern about overpopulation and when there was a strong movement towards "Zero Population Growth.

  • April 22 is the first official day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and of Fall in the Southern hemisphere and was chosen to be Earth Day for this reason.

  • Highlight of the annual Earth Day ceremony at the United Nations is the ringing of the Peace Bell that was given to the UN by Japan. It is made from coins given by school children to further peace on our planet.

  • April 22 is also the birthday of Julius Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day .

  • April 21 was the birthday of John Muir, who founded the Sierra Club.

  • April 22, 1970 was the 100th birthday of Vladimir Lenin. Time reported that some suspected the date was not a coincidence, but a clue that the event was "a Communist trick," and quoted a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution saying, "Subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them."

  • Earth Day 2009, April 22, will mark the beginning of The Green Generation CampaignTM which will also be the focus of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2010.

Sources: EarthDay.net, Wikipedia, YumSugar

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