The first Earth Day was held April 22nd, 1970. The original proposal intended the day to be on March 21st, the first day of Spring, as a way to honor the Earth and promote peace. However, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed April 22nd as a separate Earth Day -- an environmental teach-in created to be used to bring awareness to environmental issues. This was the date that became nationally recognized. Earth Day began spreading internationally by 1990.
|1998 CMU Yearbook, pp. 28-29|
|CM Life, April 22, 1970|
In many of the Central Michigan Life articles written during April of 1970, there was a strong tenor of encouragement for everyone to become environmental activists. Of course, environmental activism was no rarity in the 1970s and the fears that activists expressed, of smog pollution and unclean waters, were not so far-fetched. There were predictions that things would get worse if people did not start making changes.
|Honors students cleaning|
up the Chippewa River, 2001
Similar to other communities, Earth Day at Central has become Earth Week. It includes similar awareness events as in the 1970’s, with more interactivity. Students in charge have brought in more participation from local businesses. This year, events include tie-dying and printmaking on recycled-fiber t-shirts, outdoor volunteering for recycling and clean-up, art competitions, an Earth Day Garden Party, and much more.
|CM Life, April 23, 1990|