Earth Day Fact Sheet


The History of Earth Day


April 22, 1998 marks the 28th Anniversary of the first Earth Day. Originally called "The First National Environmental Teach-in," Earth Day was modelled after the anti-Vietnam war teach-ins of the late 1960s.

As former Senator Gaylord Nelson recalled in an October 1990 speech: "...[T]he idea for Earth Day occurred to me in late July 1969, while on a conservation speaking tour out West. At the time there was a great deal of turmoil on the college campuses over the Vietnam War. Protests, called anti-war teach-ins, were being widely held on campuses across the nation.. I read an article on the teach-ins, and it suddenly occurred to me, why not have a nationwide teach-in on the environment?

"That was the origin of Earth Day."

April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day, also marked the 100th Anniversary of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's birth.


The Earth Day Information Center is a project of:

The National Center for Public Policy Research
(202) 507-6398
Fax (301) 498-1301
National Center E-Mail:
Earth Day Information Center E-Mail:

Return to Earth Day Information Center Main Page