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A Brief History of the First Earth Day
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A Brief History of the First Earth Day

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on
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Did you know that an estimated 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970? 

Earth Day grew out of the environmental movement in the late 1960s in response to a series of environmental disasters that took lives, marred natural beauty and threatened animal species. The inaugural observance almost a half-century ago consisted of a series of local events designed to raise awareness of pressing environmental concerns.Though it borrowed from the student anti-war protests, the early environmental movement enjoyed widespread support.Today, the environmental movement is experiencing a strong resurgence amid fears of climate change, rising sea levels, and carbon emissions.Yet the issue has grown far more partisan and divisive than it was when Earth Day first began. 

Use this KQED "Lowdown" lesson to help students analyze the history of Earth Day and examine how political and public support for the observance has changed over time.



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