Earth Day

Globe on Wooden Stand (LEO Design)

In the winter of 1969, Denis Hayes gave a lecture at Columbia University, seeking to establish and promote the celebration of a new “holiday,” Earth Day.  A small group of local attendees took-up his challenge and agreed to organize and lead the New York City activities.  And what a good job they did!  On this day in 1970, Earth Day was first celebrated in a handful of American cities—and New York City made a particularly impressive showing.

Mayor John Lindsay agreed to close-down Fifth Avenue and made Central Park available for the festivities.  More than a million people turned-out for the New York celebration and Manhattan’s local news—that is, ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times—captured the enthusiasm.  This extensive press coverage gave Earth Day a very strong start.

Now, 44 years later, the goal of Earth Day remains the same: to demonstrate support for the Earth and promote environmental protection.  Today, however, it is a world-wide celebration, observed by 192 countries around the globe.  Organizers claim a billion people observe Earth Day internationally—making it the largest secular holiday celebrated world-wide.

The globe, pictured above, shows the Earth (as it was mapped in 1921).  Please click on the photo to learn more about it.