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The History of Earth Day
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Every year on April 22, we come together to honor and celebrate the home we all share – Earth!

Earth Day is a time to focus on protecting and conserving the planet, and for more than 50 years, we have taken this day to better understand our natural environment. Whether visiting your favorite National Park, putting hard work into a home garden, or enjoying a relaxing day at the beach, we all connect to Earth in unique ways. So, how did a holiday that one billion people now join from more than 190 countries begin?

In the 1960s, Americans’ focus on protecting our planet grew. Published in 1962, Rachel Carson’s New York Times Best Seller, Silent Spring, sparked a new conversation about the harmful effects of pollution on our health. This novel, along with the rise in fossil fuels, Vietnam War, and Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969, inspired those in the United States to kick off a modern environmental movement. Before this time, no regulations were in place to keep air and water pollution in check. 

So, grassroots efforts, such as rallies and marches, sparked a nationwide conversation, and the very first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970.

Earth Day 1970 led to the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, like the Clean Air, Water Quality Improvement, and Endangered Species Acts, plus the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. Many other countries soon adopted similar laws, too.

Today, Earth Day is the largest secular observation on the planet, and an official organization was established to continue fighting and educating. Topics such as deforestation, wildlife extinction, and factory pollution are a few of the many focus areas for this day. On this day, participants are encouraged to engage with the large and small ways to best protect our world. 

Earth Day inspires all of us to take action and keep our focus on nature every day of the year! 

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