April 22, 2021, marks the 51st anniversary and 52nd observance of Earth Day, a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. In 1969, organizers started Earth Day in response to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, California.
From the original Presidential Proclamation in 1974:
“To love America is not to care only for her freedoms, her promise, her institutions through which our great people strive for larger greatness. It is also to love the land and to cherish that which has sustained our people both in body and spirit from our earliest days on this vast continent.
“In recent times we have understood that however rich and beautiful, our land is finite and that our waters and air must be used as any other resource—with care and respect for their value. The celebration of Earth Day in 1970 was the first national acknowledgement of this understanding, and in the succeeding four years we have done much to insure that America the beautiful—the heritage of our generation—will be preserved and passed on as a legacy to generations yet unborn.”