What is it?
April 22nd 1970 - 1st Earth Day held internationally to conserve natural resources
“The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.
As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.”
This week in history:
- April 21 753 BC - Romulus and Remus found Rome (traditional date).
- April 22 1509 - Henry VIII ascended to throne of England
- April 23 1564 - William Shakespeare, Stratford upon Avon, English Poet and playwright, traditionally regarded as his birthdate
- April 24 1184 BC - The Greeks enter Troy using the Trojan Horse (traditional date).
- April 25 1792 - Guillotine 1st used, executes highwayman Nicolas J Pelletier
This beautiful painting by Mary Piatt is in honor of Earth Day and can be seen at the Missoula Art Museum.
April 15th 1865- Abraham Lincoln, 16th American president, dies from gunshot wound at 56.
“Four years of disastrous war had deeply divided the nation. But Lincoln initiated the effort to bring the South back into the fold. Unlike many members of his party, Lincoln believed it would be wrong to harshly punish the South. He planned to pursue a Reconstruction policy in which the South was given generous treatment. But he also listened to the Radical Republicans who insisted on punishing the Confederacy.
Before Lincoln could guide Reconstruction, an assassin cut his life short. On April 14, 1865,John Wilkes Booth, a supporter of the Confederacy and of slavery, shot Lincoln as the president and his wife watched a performance at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The president died the next morning, and Vice President Andrew Johnson entered the nation’s highest office.”
This week in history:
- April 14 1912 - HMS Titanic hits an iceberg at 11.40pm off Newfoundland
- April 15 1689 - French king Louis XIV declares war on Spain
- April 16 1178 BC - A solar eclipse may have marked the return of Odysseus, legendary King of Ithaca, to his kingdom after the Trojan War.
- April 17 1534 - Sir Thomas More confined in London Tower
- April 18 1775 - Paul Revere & William Dawes ride from Charleston to Lexington warning the “regulars are coming!
Lithograph of ”Death of President Lincoln At Washington, D.C. April 15th 1865 / The Nation’s Martyr.”, by Currier & Ives, 1865.
This lithograph can be seen at the New Hampshire Historical Society .
April 8th 1789- House of Representatives has its 1st meeting
“The 1st Congress (1789–1791) finished what the Founders started: filling out the U.S. Constitution’s skeletal framework by addressing concerns raised during ratification and by creating the federal architecture—a revenue system, the first executive departments, and the judiciary. Congress also assumed state Revolutionary War debts and decided the location of the future capital. Under the leadership of Representative James Madison of Virginia, this Congress authored the constitutional amendments which eventually became the Bill of Rights. Amid this activity Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia in 1790.”
This week in history:
- April 7th 30 - Scholars’ estimate Jesus crucified by Roman troops in Jerusalem
- April 8th 1513 - Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain
- April 9th 1912 - Titanic leaves Queenstown Ireland for NY
- April 10th 1925 - Scribners publishes “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald
- April 11th 1689 - William III & Mary II crowned as joint rulers of Britain
Thank you, Historical Society of Washington D.C., for this lovely picture inside the great hall of the Library of Congress.