Earth Day History
In the 1940s Norman Corwin had a wonderful program on
NBC, called "Could Be." A great future for people and
planet would result if one or more of the media and money moguls
who seek to decide the future would make the following
(Front Page headline in New York Times - or Washington Post)
NEW YORK TIMES BACKS EARTH DAY AND ITS EARTH TRUSTEE AGENDA
Recognizing that a radical change in media is necessary if we are to prevent the demise of civilization, the New York Times has decided to provide headlines and features for actions and events that promise lasting benefit to people and planet.
To begin, we want to call attention to the Equinox Earth Day the occasion that can motivate needed action. This simultaneous global event on Saturday, March 20, ushers in the beginning of Spring in New York home of the United
Nations where the centerpiece of Earth Day at the United Nations will be the ringing of the Peace Bell at natures global moment of equipoise the beginning of Spring.
Consider the words of Margaret Mead broadcast by New York Times radio, WQXR, in 1978. Here is what Earth Day should be and could be.
EARTH DAY by Margaret Mead
EPA Journal March 1978
Margaret Mead, an internationally recognized anthropologist, educator, and activist in world affairs, is the 1978 Earth Day chairperson.
Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology the measurement of time and instantaneous
communication through space.
Earth Day draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way; using the vernal equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making night an day of equal length in all parts of the Earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another.
But the selection of the March equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible, and a flag which shows the Earth as seen from space appropriate. The choice has been made of one of two equinoxes, the springtime of one hemisphere, the autumn of the other, making the rhythmic relationship between the two capable of being shared by all the peoples of the Earth, translated into any language, marked on any calendar, destroying no historical calendar, yet transcending them all. Where men have fought over calendrical differences in the past and invested particular days like May Day or Christmas with desperate partisanship, invoking their God with enthusiasms which excluded others, the prayers for EARTH DAY are silence where there is no confusion of tongues and the peal of the peace bell ringing around the Earth, as now satellites transform distance into communication.
EARTH DAY celebrates the interdependence within the natural world of all living things, humanitys utter dependence upon Earth mans only home and in turn the vulnerability of this Earth of ours to the ravages of irresponsible technological exploitation. It celebrates our long past in which we have learned so much of the ways of the universe, and our long
future, if only we apply what we know responsibly and wisely. It celebrates the importance of the air and the oceans to life and to peace. On the blue and white wastes of the picture of Earth from space, there are no boundary lines except those made by water and mountains. Yet in this picture of the Earth, the harsh impersonal structures of world politik disappear; there are no zones of influences, political satellites, international blocs, only people who live in lands, on land, that they cherish.
EARTH DAY is a great idea, well founded in our present scientific knowledge, tied specifically to our solar universe. But the protection of the Earth is also a matter of day-to-day decisions, of how a field is to be fertilized, a dam built, a crop planted, how some technical process is to be used to enrich or deplete the soil. It is a matter of whether the conveniences of the moment are to override provision for our childrens future. All this involves decisions, some taken by individuals, some by national governments, some by multinational corporations, and some by the United Nations. Planetary housekeeping is not as mens work has been said to be just from sun to sun, but, as has been said, like womens work that is never done. Earth Day lends itself to ceremony, to purple passages of glowing rhetoric, to a catch in the throat and a tear in the eye, easily evoked, but also too easily wiped away.
EARTH DAY uses one of humanitys great discoveries, the discovery of anniversaries by which, throughout time, human beings have kept their sorrows and their joys, their victories, their revelations and their obligations alive, for re-celebration and re-dedication another year, another decade, another century another aeon. But the noblest anniversary, devoted to the
vastest enterprise now in our power, the presrvation of this planet could easily become an empty observance if our hearts are not in it. EARTH DAY reminds the people of the world of the continuing care which is vital to Earths safety.
EPA Journal March 1978
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