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Who Started Earth Day?

Apr 22, 2013

Linda Crotta Brennan on The StudioApril 22 is Earth Day, when more than one billion people worldwide honor our amazing planet and find ways to take action to protect it. So what better way to celebrate than to read Linda Crotta Brennan’s book, When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story, about the Senator and the college student who started this global green movement?

By the late 1960s, anti-war demonstrations were taking place on college campuses across the country. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson thought, Why not organize a grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment? So the Senator began working with Harvard University activist Denis Hayes to organize the first Earth Day, held April 22, 1970. “We had neither the time nor the resources to organize the 20 million demonstrators who participated from thousands of schools and local communities,” Senator Nelson said. “That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.”

Linda was so inspired by the story of Senator Nelson and Denis Hayes that she wrote a book about it. “This was a topic that combined two of my passions, history and nature,” Linda says. “We owe so much to these two men who fought to protect the land we live on, the water we drink, and the air we need to breathe.”

Read more about Linda, her Earth Day book, and other books on The Studio.