Earth Day celebrates 50th anniversary

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

Wednesday, April 22, marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the birth of the modern environmental movement, according to the official Earth Day website.

Started in 1970 by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the initial event was inspired by an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, to raise public awareness of air and water pollution.

In 1990, Earth Day went global — mobilizing 200 million people worldwide to expose environmental issues — and gave a huge boost to recycling efforts.

For the 50th anniversary, and in the wake of  the current worldwide pandemic, EarthDay.org is hosting an 11-hour digital event, according to a news release. The event will feature video messages from more than 40 global leaders, activists, musicians and more, including  Pope Francis, award-winning singer Andrea Boccelli, Sen. Edward Markey from Massachusetts, and Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and a Global Advisory committee member.