A People, A Planet, A UW Graduate

Gaylord Nelson was born and raised in the Wisconsin North Woods. He would graduate from the Law School of UW-Madison, serve in the US Army, and be elected both Governor and United States Senator from Wisconsin. He organized an 11 State conservation tour for President John F. Kennedy, which included a stop in Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands. The tour made Nelson realize that Federal officials knew very little in regard to conservation. He was thus inspired to create a day of environmental awareness. This became the first Earth Day celebration on 22 April 1970, a tradition that has continued ever since.