Earth Day Gifts / February 25, 2019 / Blanche Durham
In 1962 marine biologist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. The book talked about the commonly used toxic pesticides used in agriculture and daily life. The title referred to the consequences of the devastating pesticides: a world without birds. Surprisingly Silent Spring became a hit. Americans cared and they wanted the facts. In 1968 the world saw the entire Earth for the first time. Apollo astronauts photographed the planet on their flight home from the moon. The Earth looked beautiful with its swirls of blues and whites. The photo provided a startling awareness: people saw Earth as vulnerable and needing human care.
The proclamation also stated that participants would celebrate an international Earth Day to create a single community and embrace Earth s gifts. The proclamation was endorsed by well-known people and leaders around the world: astronaut Buzz Aldrin anthropologist Margaret Mead inventor-scientist Buckminister Fuller Japanese environmental scientist Y. Fukushima American senators U.N. President S.O. Adebo and UN Secretary-General Thant. In April of 1970 the world celebrated another Earth Day event. The April 22nd event also began as a way to spread awareness of environmental issues. American Senator and conservationist Gaylord Nelson had actively toured the U.S. in the mid 1960 s with an environmental awareness agenda.
He promoted Earth Day to senators governors mayors and college campuses newspaper editors. In November 1969 he formally announced a nationwide environmental teach-in called Earth Day would be held in the spring of 1970. As the event became headline news the public reacted enthusiastically. Nelson first handled Earth Day public relations from his senate office but with the public s overwhelming interest the office moved into its own organization. Founder of Common Cause John Gardner helped with a temporary office and college students helped field the office. Nelson appointed Dennis Hayes as coordinator of activities.