Earth Friendly: 44th anniversary of Earth Day

By Kate Garcia
April 10, 2014 at midnight
Updated April 9, 2014 at 11:10 p.m.

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. It's fun to sit with a group and remember as far back as you can. Eventually, there is always finger pointing followed by, "Yes, I remember that," as you continue to shake your finger wildly, almost crying with laughter. You recall the interesting trends of the times, which leave you thinking. "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

Many memorable things happened in 1970. The popular daytime soap opera "All My Children" premiered, the U.S. lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, Apollo 13 launched but never made it to the moon, Elton John made his first appearance in the U.S. while our own Dolly Parton released her first successful solo single that eventually catapulted her to super-stardom.

One of the most important events we look forward to and will celebrate is the 44th anniversary of the debut of Earth Day, which began April 22, 1970.

Much like Elton and Dolly's popularity, Earth Day exploded into an event that is eagerly anticipated all over the world. It was conceptualized by late Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson on the heels of a massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Monica, Calif.

At the time, U.S. citizens were charged with the energy of social change. Nelson gambled and won with the success of the first Earth Day event, in which nearly 20 million Americans rallied across the nation on college campuses, streets, parks and auditoriums to fight against the decline of the environment.

Attention was drawn to environmental issues such as wildlife extinction and air and water quality and pollution. So much attention was drawn that the government put partisanship aside and supported the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, which would lead to the passing of landmark legislation such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act in the same year.

In honor of the 44th anniversary of such an important date in history, the city of Victoria Environmental Services, the Texas Zoo and Keep Victoria Beautiful are partnering to host the Earth Day Expo.

We are inviting Dora the Explorer to celebrate with us. She will kick off and continue the Earth Day celebration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26 at the Texas Zoo.

Children of all ages will enjoy a day of interactive activities, games, fun presentations and much more in commemoration of what began 44 years ago. Admission is $2 or free to Texas Zoo passholders.

To quote a song popular to most Earth Day playlists, Michael Jackson sings in his ballad "Earth Song," "What about all the things you said we were to gain."

If we aren't conscious about what past generations have left us, then we will leave even less for future generations to gain.

So what do you say? Carpool, walk or bike on over to the Earth Day event, and help Dora spread the word.

Kate Garcia is the programs coordinator for the city of Victoria, Environmental Services.



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