April 22 will mark the 48th annual celebration of Earth Day — a day first set aside in 1970 to encourage support for environmental protection with events held in more than 190 countries around the world.
That first celebration, now nearly a half-century ago, put environmental issues front and center in the U.S. society and politics. With more than 20 million Americans participating in this awareness and advocacy effort, the first-ever Earth Day displayed the grassroots popularity of concern for our planet.
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