Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day

". . . on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was held, one of the most remarkable happenings in the history of democracy. . . "
-American Heritage Magazine, October 1993

Gaylord Nelson began his public service in 1948 as a state senator in Wisconsin. He was reelected three times, holding his Dane County seat for ten years. In 1958 Nelson was elected as the Governor of Wisconsin. After serving two terms, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for 18 years.

The following is a article written by Senator Nelson about Earth Day -

"The idea for Earth Day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. President Kennedey began the tour in September of 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.
Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me - why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?
At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance."

Site - ?

Challenge - Perform a act that is environmentally sensitive

Photo - Image of Gaylord Nelson


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