Did you know the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970? That it was first proposed by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin? That Senator Nelson was inspired by campus activism on the late 1960’s?
Learn all about the history of Earth Day here.
The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day went global in 1990, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and elevating environmental issues to the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 – the highest honor given to civilians in the United States – for his role as Earth Day founder.
Learn about what ASCE is doing to encourage sustainable civil engineering practices on the sustainability section of the ASCE Web site.