On April 22nd of every year since 1970, our nation has celebrated Earth Day. Similar to the Great Harvest Bread Company, Earth Day originated in the midst of the hippie and flower-child culture in the United States. According to www.earthday.org, the idea for Earth Day came to their founder Gaylord Nelson (then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin) after witnessing the ravages of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Nelson realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. On the 22nd of April, 1970, twenty million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment, and Earth Day was born.