Most people have heard of Earth Day, but may not know the interesting history behind the holiday. There are actually two Earth Days on our calendar – the Spring equinox (approximately March 21) and April 22.
In the 1960’s, the country was looking for a change; protests, rallies and demonstrations were commonplace. The issues regarding the damage humanity was causing the planet were front and center, thanks in part to the NY Times bestseller Silent Spring. Senator Gaylord Nelson, mortified at the devastation of a 1969 oil spill, took up the cause of conservation as well as clean air and water. In 1969 he announced the April 22, 1970 event, when environmental education would be available across the nation. The idea took off faster than he ever dreamed, and millions of people attended the events nationwide.
However, a month earlier, on the vernal equinox of March 21, 1970, activist John McConnell had already celebrated his own Earth Day, with the support of the mayor of San Francisco. Insisting that the first day of Spring held a deeper meaning than the Aprill 22 event Nelson was planning, McConnell stuck to his date rather than consolidate the two efforts. In June of 1970, the United Nations adopted the “Equinox Earth Day” as “International Earth Day”, and the proclamation was signed by 36 world leaders.
Although we have two Earth Days, the vast majority of communities in the United States celebrate on or around April 22. Here is Saint Louis, there will be many places to go and celebrate; for instance the Saint Louis Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 23rd at the MUNY Grounds in Forest Park is free, and will be educational and fun for the whole family!
Walter Knoll Florist likes to think that we celebrate Earth Day every day – sending out green plants and flowers that make life more beautiful all year long. To commemorate Earth Day, or simply to bring a bit of the outdoors in – call Walter Knoll Florists today!