“The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a ‘national teach-in on the environment’ to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.” – The Earth Day Network
And it’s grown ever since. Celebrate with the NJSEA and BCAS by taking a guided nature walk in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst starting at 10 am. Meet in the MEC parking lot.
Another historic nugget – Walter Cronkite reporting on the first Earth Day for CBS news April 22, 1970.