The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 and marks the start of the modern environmental movement. On April 22, 1970, 20 million people demonstrated across the US, calling for a healthy and sustainable environment. There were rallies on college and university campuses coast-to-coast. People joined together to fight against a wide variety of issues including pollution, toxic dumps, oil spills, habitat destruction, power plants, and other issues that were causing visible harm to the environment. The first Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson and events and rallies were organized by the national coordinator, Denis Hayes.
Another celebration, referred to as the equinoctial Earth Day, occurs on the vernal equinox each year. The equinoctial Earth Day was first introduced in 1969 by peace activist John McConnell. The very first Earth Day ever celebrated was organized by McConnell and took place on March 21, 1970.
Many Earth Day activities are organized by the organization Earth Day Network. Earth Day Network was founded by the organizers of the 1970 Earth Day and is focused on promoting envirnomental awareness around the globe. The network involves 15,000 organizations in 174 countries and works to improve environmental policy at every level of government—state, local, and national.