Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 1970

It's time for another edition of the Tuesday Timeline, and this week, we're going back in time to a pivotal day in history.  A day that many people have celebrated and continue to celebrate years after its creation.

But before we go ahead with that discussion, I think that it's time that we look back on other happenings on this, the twenty-second day of April.

So, let's start with notable events!

1519 - Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez establishes a settlement at Veracruz, Mexico

1864 - U.S. Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1864 which mandates the inclusion of "In God We Trust" on every piece of American currency

1876 - The first ever National League baseball game is played in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1889 - Thousands of people rush to claim land in the Land Run of 1889 which swells the populations of Guthrie and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to 10,000 people

1906 - Actor Eddie Albert (d. 2005) is born in Rock Island, Illinois

1912 - The official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union - "Pravda" - begins publication

1923 - Two legends are born on this date; film actress Bettie Page (d. 2008), and television producer Aaron Spelling (d. 2006)

1930 - The London Navel Treaty is signed by the United Kingdom, United States, and Japan

1945 - A revolt takes place at Jasenovac concentration camp which sees 520 people killed and 80 escape, while elsewhere Adolf Hitler admits defeat in his underground bunker after learning that Soviet Forces took control of Eberswalde

1954 - Live coverage of the Army-McCarthy Hearings

1969 - British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston becomes the first sailor to make a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world

1972 - Increased use of bombing by American forces during the Vietnam War sparks protest rallies in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City

1977 - The first use of optical fiber is used to carry live telephone traffic

1980 - American actress/singer Jane Froman passes away at the age of 72

1992 - Fifteen thousand are left homeless and 206 people are killed following a massive explosion in Guadalajara, Mexico

1994 - Former President of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon, dies at the age of 81

1996 - Journalist/author Erma Bombeck dies at the age of 69

1998 - Disney's Animal Kingdom opens its doors at Walt Disney World

2000 - Federal agents seize six-year-old Elian Gonzalez from his relative's home in Miami, Florida in a pre-dawn raid

2002 - Former porn actress Linda Lovelace dies from injuries sustained in an automobile accident at the age of 53

2004 - Two fuel trains collide with each other in Ryongchon, North Korea, killing at least 150 people

I also want to take the opportunity to bestow birthday wishes to the following famous faces; William Jay Smith, Charlotte Rae, Jack Nicholson, Mel Carter, Ann Mitchell, Janet Evanovich, John Waters, Larry Groce, Peter Frampton, Paul Carrack, Tom Griswold, Ken Olandt, Catherine Mary Stewart, Ryan Stiles, Sean Lock, Chris Makepeace, Lauri Hendler, Dana Barron, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Sheryl Lee, Sherri Shepherd, Ingo Rademacher, Willie Robertson, Dan Cloutier, Daniel Johns, Cassidy Freeman, Francis Capra, Michelle Ryan, Amber Heard, and Cherise Donovan.

My, my...what a lot of celebrity birthdays!

And, well...I guess in some ways you could consider today's Tuesday Timeline date a day that also celebrates life. 

We're taking a trip back to April 22, 1970.

I see some of you nodding your heads (well, not really, but just go with it) because you probably know exactly what I am going to be talking about in this blog entry.  But for those of you who don't, what I can reveal is that 43 years ago, an event took place that has since become a global phenomenon.  Since the very first event in 1970, a reported 192 countries all over the world take part in it, and over the last 44 years, people and organizations have really made it a mission to preserve the planet so that generations can continue to enjoy it.

And, the fact that I've highlighted several pieces in this blog in green may serve as a bit of a hint.

Today happens to be "Earth Day".  And April 22, 1970 marked the very first time that "Earth Day" was observed.  Would you believe that there's even an anthem devoted to Earth Day?  Here's the video lyrics below...and I'll incorporate the lyrics to the anthem underneath - just to get us all in the mood.

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world

How's that for interesting?  So, how did Earth Day come to be a thing?

Well, as you already know, the first Earth Day was held in 1970.  And, you can thank peace activist John McConnell for getting the ball rolling!

In 1969, McConnell was attending the UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Conference in San Francisco, California, and he proposed the idea for what would come to be known as Earth Day.  He suggested a day in which people honoured the Earth, and promoted peace within nations, and UNESCO certainly felt that the idea was a good one.  And McConnell even had a date in which this day was to take place.  March 21, 1970 - coinciding with the first day of Spring.  It was sanctioned in a proclamation written by McConnell, and was signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations.

So, why is it that we celebrate Earth Day on April 22?

Well, as it turned out, a separate day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in...which was scheduled on April 22, 1970.  This caused Nelson to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, and marked April 22 as the official Earth Day in the United States.

Other countries would soon follow in their own separate observances of Earth Day, and at first, they were all held on different days other than April.  Canada's first Earth Day, for example, was held on September 11, 1980 - nearly ten and a half years after the first Earth Day held in the United States.

But it really wasn't until the twentieth anniversary of Earth Day that it really became a global concept.

And, I definitely remember there being a huge interest in environmental protection right around 1990 - the twentieth year of Earth Day.  I was just about winding down third grade, and it seemed to me that every week, we would have some sort of lesson on environmental protection.  Our town's recycling program kicked off in 1990 with the blue box program, and I remember attending a series of workshops the following year that focused entirely on environmental protection and ways we can fight pollution. 

Well, on April 22, 1990, an estimated 200 million people across 141 different countries got together and brought Earth Day awareness on a global stage for the day's twentieth year.  As it turns out, my town wasn't the only place to kick off a recycling program in 1990.  1990 was the year in which millions of people began abiding by the three NEW R's.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.  The 20th anniversary of the day was also a success in part to stronger marketing tools, more access to television and radio, and corporations all doing their part to reduce waste in an effort to protect the planet.

By the time that Earth Day celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in April 2000, the Internet was firmly in place, and Earth Day activities could be accessed by even more people than before. 

TRIVIA:  One of the largest celebrations of Earth Day to date was on the day's thirty-seventh anniversary on April 22, 2007.  Some of the larger cities that joined together to promote planet sustainability included London, New York City, Madrid, Manila, Kiev, and Caracas.

These days, Earth Day is still considered to be an important day on the calendar for world preservation.  After all, without a planet, we have no home, right?  And, granted, while I am not exactly the most environmentally conscious person in the world (at least not as much as Jessie Spano from "Saved By The Bell", who actually spent Cut Day launching a protest against styrofoam cups), I do feel that Earth Day is a day that still needs to be celebrated.  After all, while I think we've come a long way in trying to protect our world, there's still a lot more that can be done.

That's why I decided to make the Tuesday Timeline all about Earth Day.  It's this blogger's way of raising awareness for a worthy cause.

Happy Earth Day, everyone.  And, remember, you can practice Earth Day customs any day of the year - not just April 22!

No comments:

Post a Comment