Five fun facts about Earth Day
- It’s today.
- Earth Day is not a federal holiday, although his is the 43rd year it’s been celebrated. It was first celebrated by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970. Sen. Nelson developed the idea for Earth Day in 1969, after being inspired by the anti-Vietnam War “teach-ins” taking place on college campuses around the U.S., according to the History Channel.
- Although the date for Earth Day was originally chosen because it does not coincide with any other holidays, it was once a holiday for those in the Communist Soviet Union, because April 22 is also Vladimir Lenin’s birthday. Here’s what Nelson had to say about that coincidence: “On any given day, a lot of both good and bad people were born,” he said. “A person many consider the world’s first environmentalist, Saint Francis of Assisi, was born on April 22. So was Queen Isabella. More importantly, so was my Aunt Tillie.”
- Earth Day festivities also established public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was authorized by Congress in December of 1970.
- In Seoul, South Korea, people performed an Earth Day flashmob that featured a variation of Psy’s hit “Gangnam Style” called “Eco-Style.” You can watch the instructional dance video here.
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