Earth Day 2010: On Lenin and Liberty
Nicolas Loris /
President Obama told a romanticized version of Earth Day’s founding in his video for Earth Day 2010, but there is more to the story than a grossly polluted river and a noble hero rising up to champion the defenseless Earth.
It was April 22, 1970, that Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, declared a national day of support for the Earth. He claimed to have thought up the idea in 1969, after seeing a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the Vietnam “teach-ins,” he thought to have a nationwide environmental “teach-in” to involve Americans in environmental issues. He sent letters to every state governor and many state institutions in 1969, trying to rally support for his radical idea. And in the end, he won: the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. On Vladimir Lenin’s 100th birthday. (more…)