Dates and Origins of Earth Day

Earth Day Dates in 2024, 2025 and 2026

Earth Day is celebrated at the following dates:

Earth day is an international celebration that falls annually on April 22. On earth day, events are held to demonstrate or support environmental protection.


John McConnell, a peace activist, first proposed the event in 1969 at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco to honor the earth and the concept of peace. A proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations sanctioned this event. Originally earth Day was meant to fall on the vernal equinox, March 21, but a month later Senator Gaylord Nelson founded a separate Earth day on April 22, 1970 as an environmental teach-in. Nelson received the presidential medal of freedom for his work. While the first Earth day was focused in the United States, the original national coordinator Dennis Hayes organized earth day events in 141 countries by 1990.

Earth day 1970

The most notable first earth day celebration occurred in New York city, where mayor John Lindsay agreed to shut down Fifth Avenue, donate some of his staff and open up Central Park to the event. Philadelphia held events on earth day as well with Edmond Muskie as the keynote speaker.

Other attendees included presidential candidate Ralph Nader, Landscape architect Ian McHarg , Harvard biochemist and Nobel prize laureate George Wald, Senate minority leader Hugh Scott and poet, Allen Ginsberg. Many severe predictions including mass starvation, extinction and diminished sunlight to the earth's surface were made though few came to fruition.

Earth day 1990

Earth day of 1990 mobilized 200 million people in 141 countries, giving a gigantic boost to global recycling efforts and helped to pave the way for the United Nations earth summit in Rio De Janeiro in 1992. Multimillion dollar budgets were used to promote the celebration and marketing efforts were far stronger than the first Earth day in 1970.

Earth Day 20 Foundation and Earth Day 1990 were two separate groups that formed in 1990 to sponsor the event. Organizing strategies were approached with grassroots strategies and marketing included focus groups, direct mail fundraising, and email marketing. The Earth Day 20 International Peace climb of Mount Everest was the first time mountaineers from China, the United State and Russia roped up together to climb a mountain. They phoned in from the base of Mount Everest to pledge their support for world peace on April 22, 1990. During that expedition, they carried down 2 tons of trash, with the help of support groups, left by previous expeditions.

Earth Day 2000

Earth day 2000 was the first year that organizations used the internet as a primary marketing tool. The event enlisted 5,000 environmental groups outside the United States in 183 countries. Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio was the official host of the event while 400,000 committed participants stood in the cold rain for the event.


Today, earth day is celebrated internationally in over 192 countries to bring awareness to environmental issues and continues to grow each year. Visit for more information.