Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Earth Day!

In doing some research for this post I found out that Earth Day and I have something in common, we are both turning 40 in the year 2010!!!  So, Happy Birthday Earth Day!  That's just downright fun to say.  To be honest with you, I had no idea that Earth Day was that old, I thought it was a much younger, more new fad idea.  Maybe it's just because I think of myself as much younger and newer too, ha!
From the sit ins of the Vietnam war came the lesson of a teach in day that became Earth Day.  A young senator from Wisconsin (doesn't that make you proud Daisy?) by the name of Gaylord Nelson proposed the nationwide teach in day in late 1969 and word traveled like wildfire across the nation, and the world, 175 countries take part in Earth Day.  20 million people participated in the first ever Earth Day, and the response was overwhelming according to wikipedia:
"Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself."
I think one of the most striking things for me in this article is that it reminds me that grassroots movements really do make a big difference, and that one man or woman really can make a huge difference.  They talk about all of the various groups that were trying to save the whales, and fight pollution, and were horrified by these gargantuan oil spills that were happening coming together and realizing that they all had a common goal and common values.  And here we are 40 years later blogging about it on a computer system that those folks would never have dreamed of; I mean to me, that is simply astonishing!

My friend Tiffany has a great Earth Day post at her blog today as well,  I really enjoyed reading it this morning, thanks Tiffany!  I couldn't agree with you more.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Yes, I'm very proud of Gaylord Nelson! We teach our students about his work and his life; he was quite an environmentalist before the term existed. Thanks to Sen. Nelson, environmental education is mandatory in my state. Every student learns about his/her natural world.