On This Day: April 22nd

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In 1970 on the 22nd of April the very first Earth Day was celebrated, it was celebrated by thousands of colleges and schools as well as hundreds of communities across the United States of America. The event brought out around 20 million people for peaceful demonstrations in favour of environmental reforms. Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson after a UN proposal the previous year, Nelson later earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in recognition of his work. From 1990 the Earth Day event became international due to the work of Denis Hayes who was the original national coordinator in 1970.

April 22nd was chosen by Nelson in order to maximize participation on college campuses, this was because it didn’t fall during exam times or during spring break in USA.April 22nd 1970 was also the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth which led to calls of the event being a “communist trick”, events on Earth Day were also under surveilance by the FBI in 1970. Today April 22nd is celebrated worldwide as a day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In 2016 on Earth Day the Paris Agreement has been signed by USA, China, Great Britain, Russia and over 100 other countries to deal with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in 2020.

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