is Earth Day! Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970. Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, Freeway and expressway revolts, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Media coverage of the first Earth Day included a One-Hour Prime-time CBS News Special Report called “Earth Day: A Question of Survival,” with correspondents reporting from a dozen major cities across the country, and narrated by Walter Cronkite. The largest segment of the special report (20 minutes of the 60-minute program) focused on Earth Day in Philadelphia, whose flag is pictured below.