Although in the United States, the most commonly celebrated Earth Day is April 22 each year, the first Earth Day to ever be recognized was observed in the middle of March, on the spring equinox. These are actually two distinct events.
In 1970, an environmental and peace activist named John McConnell petitioned the mayor of San Francisco to create a day dedicated to environmental causes. He was rumored to ask “Why don’t we have a day just for earth? We’ll call it Earth Day, dedicated to peace, justice, and the care of the earth.” McConnell’s decision to choose the vernal equinox was a bit poetic – on that day, around the globe both night and day are equally represented. McConnell thought the equilibrium demonstrated in nature was a perfect illustration of his desired equilibrium between earth and humanity, as well as between nations.
Simultaneously, the late US Senator Gaylord Nelson and activist Denis Hayes were working on a nationwide environmental forum on April 22 of the same year. They asked McConnell to change his date in order to consolidate the efforts, but McConnell’s commitment to the equinox date won out; effectively creating two Earth Days in the same year. Nelson’s rally in Washington DC drew millions, and from that time forward April 22 has been the more recognized of the two, even though the March date was adopted by the United Nations. As time has gone on, the March observance has drawn a more scientific following, while the focus of the April day has been governmental and legislative change.
Here in Nashville there are several Earth Day events. On Saturday, April 23, the Earth Day Festival in Centennial Park is a free and family friendly event that features exhibits, live entertainment and hands on activities. As will all Earth Day celebrations, the goal is education about protecting the environment and living in a sustainable way.
Plants, trees and flowers comprise an irreplaceable ecosystem which quite literally supports all life on Earth. You can bring a bit of Earth inside with beautiful flowering plants from Rose Hill Flowers. Plants are proven to detoxify the air, calm the mood and increase productivity – so why stop at just one? This Earth Day, come to Rose Hill Flowers, and fill your home or office with life.