Earth Day, April 22
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable
environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration
of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps,
pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers
and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States
Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day has reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion
people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.
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