With two Earth Days on the calendar – March 21 and April 22 – which is the official holiday?
Actually, they are both considered to be official holidays and have their own right to claim the idea as theirs. The days originated nearly simultaneously in 1970, and although April the 22nd is the most popular choice in the United States for events, gathering and festivals, International Earth Day – which is observed on the spring or vernal equinox – took place one month earlier.
A San Francisco newspaper editor and conservationist named John McConnell dreamed of a day that would be set aside to bring awareness for the need to protect the Earth’s resources, as well as to promote world peace. He claimed that the idea of holding such a celebration on the vernal equinox was divinely inspired, and just made a lot of sense. Spring represents a time of renewal and restored life; and the equinox was a perfect illustration of the equilibrium McConnell was trying to achieve, as day and night are equally distributed on that day. The mayor of San Francisco adopted the first Earth Day in 1970; only a few short months later, the United Nations had officially declared the day “International Earth Day”.
At the same time that McConnell was formulating his idea, Senator Gaylord Nelson was orchestrating a “Teach-In” to educate college students across the country about conservation. Having seen the passion of college students in anti-war protests, Nelson hoped to channel that energy into his initiatives in order to get the attention of lawmakers. Nelson recruited college activist Denis Hayes and Congressman Pete McCloskey to help, and the result was beyond anyone’s expectations. Millions participated in the rallies and classes, legislation for cleaner air and water, as well as protection of endangered species, was introduced a few short months later. The grassroots approach was a striking success and also led to the establishment of the EPA. The April 22 day has enjoyed more popular acceptance than the equinox date and has been extended to “Earth Week” in many cities across the country.
Bring a bit of Earth Day right into your Danvers home or office – Currans Flowers has plenty of green plants and spring blooms available to create your own natural oasis. Browse our website, stop into the flower shop or give us a call.