Earth Day was first celebrated in San Francisco on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.
The New Yorker magazine started serializing Rachel Carson’s "Silent Spring" in June 1962, and it was published in book form later that year. It was widely read and inspired public concern with pesticides and pollution of the environment. The book facilitated the ban of the pesticide DDT in 1972 in the US.
Some 175 countries around the world observe Earth Day on April 22. Some cities start celebrating a week in advance in recognition of Earth Week.
Earth Day Network, the nonprofit organization that oversees the holiday's events and celebrations, says that about 1 billion people participate in Earth Day each year – it's "the largest secular civic event in the world."
After examination of the scientific evidence and public comments regarding greenhouse gas emissions, the US EPA in 2009 announced that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare of the American people.
Created by cartoonist Ron Cobb in November 1969, the Ecology Flag has 13 alternating green and white stripes, and its canton is green with a yellow theta, which is meant to symbolize peace.
The Kyoto Protocol was initially adopted on Dec. 11, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force about seven years later.
Established by an executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt on March 14, 1903, the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is located off the east coast of Florida. This was the first time that the federal government put land aside for the sake of wildlife.
Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson began supporting environmental initiatives as early as 1962, though it wasn't until 1969 that the antiwar "teach-ins" he advocated inspired the grass-roots foundation of the first Earth Day.
Just eight months after the first Earth Day, the EPA began dealing with all of the country's eco-initiatives, from banning DDT and setting emission standards to regulating the application of lead-based paint and preventing water pollution.
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, also known as the Stockholm Conference, was held in June 1972 and marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics.
Yellowstone National Park, located primarily in Wyoming, is widely held to be the world’s first national park. Since Yellowstone was established, more than 4,000 national parks and preserves have been founded around the world.
From celebrating at the zoo to painting over graffiti, the Earth Day Network currently lists on its website more than 1,000 events and volunteer opportunities happening on Earth Day in cities across the country.
About 70 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere as volunteers clean up parks and plant trees on Earth Day – and every day.,
"Silent Spring" was published eight years before the first official Earth Day celebration. The other statistics are EPA-documented changes that have been measured since the 1970s.
Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” was chosen to serve as the melody for the “Earth Day Anthem” because it is widely recognized, easily performed, and originally composed for voice.
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Conference and Earth Summit, was held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. Some 172 countries participated with the goal of addressing environmental issues, such as alternative sources of energy, new reliance on public transportation, and the growing scarcity of water.