Earth Day 2010

Forty years ago, on April 22, 1970, US Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI) planned the first Earth Day to spread awareness and appreciation for our environment. That led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Ten years later, Sen. Nelson wrote an article Earth Day ’70: What It Meant, 6 EPA J. 6 (1980), a PDF version of which is available to BLS Library patrons at this HeinOnline link. In its print collection, the BLS Library has Not in Our Backyard: The People and Events That Shaped America’s Modern Environmental Movement by Marc Mowrey and Tim Redmond (Call #GE180 .M68 1993), an excellent book that highlights many of the lesser-known characters and events that comprise the US Environmental Movement.

Today, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 175 countries. The PBS series, American Experience recently aired “Earth Days”, a documentary on the origins of Earth Day and the modern environmental movement. Informative and thought-provoking, it is accessible online here.