Today in History: Earth Day

Girl Scout in canoe, picking trash out of the Potomac River during Earth Week 1970 April 22

Today in History–April 22–the Library of Congress features Earth Day, first celebrated on this day in 1970. Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin who wanted to raise public consciousness about air and water pollution. It is estimated that 20 million people nationwide attended events on the first Earth Day. Learn more about by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below.

The First Earth Day April 22, 1970 from America’s Library

Earth Day – 40 years and counting Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business blog April 21, 2010

Earth Day at Fifty: April 22 Teaching with the Library of Congress April 21, 2020

Earth Day: Connect with Nature Today and Throughout the Year Teaching with the Library of Congress blog April 22, 2014

Earth Day legislation

Senator Gaylord Nelson biography

An Evaluation: Warren Knowles Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program Department of Natural Resources, October 2000

Earth Day: Science Reference Guide

Related resources