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Earth Day

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More than 1 billion people will be celebrating Earth Day on Monday throughout the world, including in several cities across the United States.




Each year, Earth Day—April 22—marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.




I remember that first Earth Day.


I was a senior in High School. April 22, 1970 was a Wednesday. It was announced in the morning that we were all supposed to report to the auditorium at 10:00 AM for an "important meeting/event". We had no idea what that meeting/event was.


Now, our school was "overcrowded" and all the students could not attend at the same time. Our class, the senior class (12th grade), was nearly 1,000 students.  The seniors and juniors (11th grade) attended school in the morning only, starting class a little before 7 AM and ending our day at 12:30. The sophomores (10th grade) attended in the afternoon. They started around 1:00 PM and got out around 5 PM. We did not have freshmen (9th grade) students since, at the time, 9th grade was considered part of "Junior High" (7-9 grade). Today, that has been changed and our area has Middle School (6-8 grade) and High School has 9-12 grades. We were the only public school in the city - but, that is a different story.


Anyway, back to Earth Day ...


All of the students filed into the auditorium (our school had a large auditorium complete with balcony seating). It was a bit warm in there once we all got seated and the program began. I could not tell you all of what was said. Not only has that been nearly 50 years ago, it was so disorganized that I am not sure those presenting the program even knew what they were saying.


I do remember that it was long, it program lasted an hour and a half, and most of them were NOT very good public speakers and their presentation were extremely boring. ... by the time it was about halfway through, many of those in the audience were asleep.


The next day there was an article in the local paper how our school had "celebrated the first Earth Day", complete with pictures of the event - fortunately they had taken the pictures early and most of the students were still awake. Of course, at school the next day most of the students had no idea what they had "celebrated". Most thought the "event" was a waste of time ... although many did like the "day off", since they got to spend an hour and a half doing nothing - and this was preceded by "instructions" during the classes that preceded the event as to how we were to act and which classroom would head to the auditorium when and so-forth ... not "teaching subject matter" involved - so, it was like a day off school even though we were there.


I have never though much about "Earth Day" since - until I saw an article about it being Monday and that next year is the 50th anniversary of that first one in 1970.

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I celebrated that first Earth Day with our Senior Ecology Class by picking up all the garbage within

a mile radius of our town and putting it all on display in a chicken wire bin in the middle of an intersection

on Main Street.


I don't know about anyone else, but I was impressed. :D

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