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Video of Gaylord Nelson

Earth Day 1973

Gaylord Nelson: 1973 interview

Originally aired on WMVS-TV, April 1973. Video courtesy: Wisconsin Historical Society.

In the 3 years following the first Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson led an effort to establish an annual Earth Week to promote ecological literacy in schools and throughout the country.

This clip from a 1973 interview shows Nelson pushing the energy conservation agenda of that year’s Earth Week. In addition, he speaks to the importance of an updated mass transit infrastructure and a national land-use ordinance.

After 1973, unable to keep up with public enthusiasm and with an overtaxed Senate staff, he removed himself from role as instigator of Earth Week events, yet continued to speak every year at grassroots Earth Day observances.