Each year on April 22, we celebrate earth day marking the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

The idea of a global celebration dedicated to the Earth and to environmental issues sprang from multiple roots. Earth day recognized by the United Nations coincides with the annual spring equinox--often March 20--and was created in 1969 by peace activist John McConnell.

The April 22nd celebration started as an environmental teach-in that first took place in 1970, and was founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson.

On this date back in 1970, twenty million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his youthful staff organized massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.

Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day and Earth Week festivities are growing, and take place in numerous communities and countries around the globe.

In the U.S., Earth Day 2009 is officially on April 22.