Earth Day, which takes place on April 22nd, was born from an idea by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1962. Nelson observed that environmental degradation was sweeping the nation and wanted to find a way to bring the issue to the nation's attention. Nelson pitched the idea to then Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who took the idea to the President (at the time JFK), from this idea President Kennedy launched an eleven state "conservation tour" in September of 1963. This tour did not succeed in putting environmental issues into the national agenda.

Senator Nelson continued to speak out to people about environmental concerns, with the motive of thrusting environmental issues into the political mainstream, conducting a 25 state tour. In 1969, when protests of the Viet Nam war were in full swing. Nelson noticed the phenomenon of "teach-ins" taking place on college campuses all over the nation. He used this example as a way to start a grassroots campaign in promoting environmental awareness. The plan was to infuse the student's anti-war energy into environmental issues as well.

In September 1969 Senator Nelson announced that in the Spring of 1970 there would be nationwide demonstration on behalf of the environment. Five months later the New York Times ran an article noticing the proliferation of environmental events. On April 22nd, 1970 twenty million people across the nation participated in the first Earth Day demonstrations. Earth Day has waxed and waned with the prevailing environmental attitude since then, but it remains a piece of Americana for all time.
Noders Note: This writeup was being worked on while Segnbora-t's wu was posted, it is not meant to correct her write-up in any way. The information in this node comes from Senator Nelson's own account on how he helped create Earth Day.