Earth Day Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses.
By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight. Earth Day was first suggested by John McDonnell (from the United States) in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference on the Environment. The United Nations began an Earth Day celebration on the March Equinox and continued this celebration every year since. In 1968, Morton Hilbert and the U. S. Public Health Service organized the Human Ecology Symposium, an environmental conference for students to hear from scientists about the effects of environmental degradation on human health.
This was the beginning of Earth Day. For the next two years, Hilbert and students worked to plan the first Earth Day. In April 1970—along with a federal proclamation from U. S. Senator Nelson—the first Earth Day was held. Earth Day Name According to Nelson, the name “Earth Day” was “an obvious and logical name” suggested by “a number of people” in the fall of 1969, including, he writes, both “a friend of mine who had been in the field of public relations” and “a New York advertising executive,” Julian Koenig.
Koenig, who had been on Nelson’s organizing committee in 1969, has said that the idea came to him by the coincidence of his birthday with the day selected, April 22; “Earth Day” rhyming with “birthday,” the connection seemed natural. Other names circulated during preparations—Nelson himself continued to call it the National Environment Teach-In, but national coordinator Denis Hayes used the term Earth Day in his communications and press coverage of the event was “practically unanimous” in its use of “Earth Day,” so the name stuck.
Significance of April 22 Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an “environmental teach-in”. He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet as it did not fall during exams or spring breaks. Moreover, it did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22.
Unbeknownst to Nelson, April 22, 1970, was coincidentally the 100th anniversary of the birth 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 as saying, “subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them. ” J. Edgar Hoover, director of the U. S.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, may have found the Lenin connection intriguing; it was alleged the FBI conducted surveillance at the 1970 demonstrations. The idea that the date was chosen to celebrate Lenin’s centenary still persists in some quarters, an idea borne out by the similarity with the subbotnik instituted by Lenin in 1920 as days on which people would have to do community service, which typically consisted in removing rubbish from public property and collecting recyclable material.
Subbotniks were also imposed on other countries within the compass of Soviet power, including Eastern Europe, and at the height of its power the Soviet Union established a nation-wide subbotnik to be celebrated on Lenin’s birthday, April 22, which had been proclaimed a national holiday celebrating communism by Nikita Khrushchev in 1955. History of Equinox Earth Day The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around March 20) to mark the precise moment of astronomical mid-spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical mid-autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time (not a whole day) when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly “above” the Earth’s equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year. In most cultures, the equinoxes and solstices are considered to start or separate the seasons. John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global holiday called “Earth Day” at the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment.
The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. Celebrations were held in various cities, such as San Francisco and in Davis, California with a multi-day street party. UN Secretary-General U Thant supported McConnell’s global initiative to celebrate this annual event. Traditions At the moment of the equinox, it is traditional to observe Earth Day by ringing the Japanese Peace Bell, which was donated by Japan to the United Nations.
Over the years, celebrations have occurred in various places worldwide at the same time as the UN celebration. On March 20, 2008, in addition to the ceremony at the United Nations, ceremonies were held in New Zealand, and bells were sounded in California, Vienna, Paris, Lithuania, Tokyo, and many other locations. The equinox Earth Day at the UN is organized by the Earth Society Foundation. Earth Day ringing the peace bell is celebrated around the world in many towns, ringing the Peace Bell in Vienna, Berlin, and elsewhere.
A memorable event took place at the UN in Geneva, celebrating a Minute for Peace ringing the Japanese Shinagawa Peace Bell with the help of the Geneva Friendship Association and the Global Youth Foundation directly after in deep mourning about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe 10 days before. Earth Day Canada The first Canadian Earth Day was held on Thursday, September 11, 1980, and was organized by Paul D. Tinari, then a graduate student in Engineering Physics/Solar Engineering at Queen’s University.
Flora MacDonald, then MP for Kingston and the Islands and Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, officially opened Earth Day Week on September 6, 1980 with a ceremonial tree planting and encouraged MPs and MPPs across the country to declare a cross-Canada annual Earth Day. The principal activities taking place on the first Earth Day included educational lectures given by experts in various environmental fields, garbage and litter pick-up by students along city roads and highways as well as tree plantings to replace the trees killed by Dutch Elm Disease.
Paul Tinari officially launching the first Canadian Earth Day on September 11, 1980 – waiting to speak are Flora MacDonald MP, secretary of state for external affairs, Ken Keyes, mayor of Kingston, and Dr. Ronald Watts, principal of Queen’s University Earth Day Canada (EDC) is a national environmental charity founded in 1990 that provides Canadians with practical knowledge, tools, and simple easy-to-accomplish actions to support a healthier environment through EDC’s year-round and award-winning programs.
Education: EcoKids supports teachers and students, grades K-8, with free educational resources, curriculum-linked lesson plans including ESL and FSL, and homework help and games for students. EcoMentors offers youth the training and resources they need to facilitate local environmental education workshops with their peers and other young Canadians. Action: EDC’s challenges, contests and campaigns promote practical, culturally relevant and cost-effective solutions to help individual Canadians support a healthier environment.
EDC also encourages action by supporting individuals and community groups in the organization and delivery of local Earth Day (April 22) events. Earth Day Anthem Lyrics for the Earth Day Anthem set to “Ode to Joy” are provided below: Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise Now we must resolve to protect her Show her our love throughout all time With our gentle hand and touch We make our home a newborn world Now we must resolve to protect her Show her our love throughout all time With our gentle hand and touch We make our home a newborn world
Cite this Day of Training on Environmental Issues
Day of Training on Environmental Issues. (2016, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/day-of-training-on-environmental-issues/