Today, April 22, is Earth Day 2009. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, when about 20 million people participated across the USA. Earth Day has grown into a world-wide phenomenon, with more than one billion predicted to take part in Earth Day 2009.
So why April 22?
Rumor has it that Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 because that’s the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union.
“Lenin’s goal was to destroy private property and this goal is obviously shared by environmentalists,” the Capitalism Magazine Web site stated in a 2004 story perpetuating the theory.
Kathleen Rogers, president of Washington, D.C.-based Earth Day Network, laughs at this communist-laden theory.
In fact, she says that April 22, 1970, was chosen for the first Earth Day simply because it fell on a Wednesday, the best day to encourage a huge turnout for the environmental rallies held nationwide.
“It worked out perfectly, because everybody was at work and they all left,” she said.
In fact, the April 22nd celebration of Earth Day began as an environmental “teach-in” that first occurred in 1970 and was founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson.
Other influential people in the early days of the ecology movement of the 1960s and early 1970s that led to Earth Day include Rachel Carson, author of the bestseller “Silent Spring,” and consumer advocate Ralph Nader.
Today, with much more intense focus on issues like climate change and toxic pollutants, Earth Day and Earth Week festivities are growing like wildfire and take place in numerous communities and countries around the world.
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