In 1969, a blowout on a Union Oil Company platform stationed off the California coast dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the sea. Images of tar-covered seabirds and dolphins with clogged blowholes horrified the nation.
Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, wanted to mobilize this reaction to raise environmental awareness. In 1970, Nelson founded Earth Day.
Twenty million Americans participated in rallies that first year. Now April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day in nearly 200 countries around the world. Continue reading