President Nixon, a college student, and a Wisconsin senator: How Earth Day came to be

On April 22, 1971, former President Richard Nixon planted a tree at the White House, commemorating the one-year anniversary of Earth Day.

Nixon was one of America’s “greenest” presidents, signing 14 pieces of environmental legislation into law while he was in office. He signed laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

“The tasks that need doing … call for fundamentally new philosophies of land, air, and water use, for stricter regulation, for expanded government action, for greater citizen involvement, and for new programs to ensure that government, industry, and individuals all are called on to do their share of the job and to pay their share of the cost,” Nixon said.

How did Earth Day get on Nixon’s radar? With
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