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Who founded Earth Day and why is it important? The most frequently asked Earth Day questions

Last year, the U.S. celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

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Video above: This is the decisive decade on climate, President Biden says

When was the first Earth Day celebrated and who founded it?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Earth Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1970.

At that time, the EPA did not exist and there was no government oversight of the environment.

Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson came up with Earth Day as a way to draw attention to the cause. Later that same year, Congress authorized the creation of the EPA to handle environmental issues.

Last year, the U.S. celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

In 1990, Earth Day became a worldwide celebration.

So, what's the purpose of Earth Day and why is it important?

Earth Day is meant to be spent celebrating the planet's clean natural resources. In recent years, the day has been used to raise awareness about global climate change.

This year's Earth Day theme is "Restore Our Earth."

In his 2021 Earth Day proclamation, President Joe Biden credited Nelson's efforts for leading to current clean energy efforts.

"More than 50 years ago, a generation rallied to confront the environmental crises they faced," Biden's proclamation says. "They took action in hopes that those in power would listen. Today, a new generation is sounding the alarm louder than ever, demanding that world leaders act. It is in all our interests to rise to that challenge and let our legacy be one of action."