Earth Day 2014 is Tuesday, and celebrations are planned across our nation and around the world, including here at Boise State. Forty-four years after it was first launched, this annual event continues to evolve, attract new participants and raise awareness about environmental issues. What many may not realize is that Earth Day also played a major role in the birth of the modern environmental movement.
Prize-winning historian Adam Rome, writes about the history and legacy of Earth Day in his book, "The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation." The book is now out in paperback.
Organized by a handful of young people, inaugural Earth Day events around the country drew tens of thousands of participants.
Through teach-ins, protests and other activities, Earth Day organized and mobilized a generation of environmental activists.
It also was the spark for far-reaching legislation on clean air, clean water, endangered species and even the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Rome teaches environmental history and environmental nonfiction at the University of Delaware. Before earning his Ph.D. in history, he worked for seven years as a journalist. His first book, “The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism,” won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award and the Lewis Mumford Prize.
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