Earthday

More than 100,000 New Yorkers celebrated the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, forming the largest gathering in the nationwide celebration. New Yorkers flocked to Union Square for speeches and concerts. Mayor John V. Lindsay closed Fifth Avenue to cars, enabling marches and picnics in the blocked-off streets. ... Read More

Meet the Activists

  • Peggy Shepard
    Peggy Shepard
  • Hazel Henderson
    Hazel Henderson
  • Peter Hallerman
    Peter Hallerman

Objects & Images

Key Events

Global Events
Local Events

1881 The citywide Department of Street Cleaning is created, though routine trash collection and street cleaning do not begin in earnest until 1895

1962 Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring helps to launch the new environmental movement

1968 Under Mayor John V. Lindsay, New York City creates the nation’s first Environmental Protection Administration

1969 Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson conceives of Earth Day

1970 First Earth Day celebrated nationwide Federal government creates the national Environmental Protection Agency and passes the Clean Air Act

1989 After the defeat of proposals to increase reliance on garbage incinerators, New York City institutes recycling through Local Law 19

1990 The 20th anniversary celebration of Earth Day attracts nearly one million people to Central Park

2001 Closing of Staten Island’s Fresh Kills, at one point the largest landfill in the United States

2012 Hurricane Sandy leads to flooding, property destruction, and loss of life

2014 The United Nations Climate Summit brings world leaders to New York, prompting the People’s Climate March through Manhattan to draw attention to climate change

Key Events

1881 The citywide Department of Street Cleaning is created, though routine trash collection and street cleaning do not begin in earnest until 1895
1962
Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring helps to launch the new environmental movement
1968 Under Mayor John V. Lindsay, New York City creates the nation’s first Environmental Protection Administration
1969
Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson conceives of Earth Day
1970
First Earth Day celebrated nationwide Federal government creates the national Environmental Protection Agency and passes the Clean Air Act
1989
After the defeat of proposals to increase reliance on garbage incinerators, New York City institutes recycling through Local Law 19
1990 The 20th anniversary celebration of Earth Day attracts nearly one million people to Central Park
2001 Closing of Staten Island’s Fresh Kills, at one point the largest landfill in the United States
2012
Hurricane Sandy leads to flooding, property destruction, and loss of life
2014 The United Nations Climate Summit brings world leaders to New York, prompting the People’s Climate March through Manhattan to draw attention to climate change