PHOTOS: The First Earth Day--Bell-Bottoms and Gas Masks

PHOTOS: The First Earth Day
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On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, students and activists gather along the polluted Milwaukee River to hear a rock band at the Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's then senator Gaylord Nelson spearheaded what was then called a nationwide Environmental Teach-In. Although then president Richard Nixon made no public remarks about Earth Day, by December 1970 his administration had created the Environmental Protection Agency.

Following the first Earth Day, Nelson told the St. Petersburg Times of Florida in 2000, "There were 28 major legislative enactments in the next ten years," including the Clean Water Act and two revisions to the Clean Air Act. "It was a big leap forward."
—Photograph from AP
 
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