The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, was effective at raising awareness about environmental issues and transforming public attitudes.
During the 1970s, a number of important environmental legislation was passed, among them the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
Another key development was the establishment in December 1970 of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land.
In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in more than 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network, a nonprofit that coordinates Earth Day activities. In 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental group.
Take a moment this year to praise the accomplishments that the citizens of our nation and world have done to change the health of our planet for the better.