Earth Day is not April 22.

The original Earth Day was on March 21, 1970. Initiated in San Francisco, its centerpiece was the March Equinox -- the moment Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere. The date was chosen because of its unique appeal to people of every creed and culture -- one day a year for all the people of planet Earth. City Hall approved the Earth Day proposal in October, 1969. Here was a powerful natural event that could bring people together in heart and mind at a special moment and increase determination to pursue "peace, justice and the care of Earth."

The March Earth Day was supported by United Nations Secretary General U Thant in 1971 and has been featured each year since then in an Earth Day Ceremony at the Peace Bell. It has played an important role in initiatives for peace and the care of Earth. The ringing of the Peace Bell signals the moment Spring begins. This is followed by two minutes of silent prayer or reflection -- a time for people to join worldwide in heartfelt dedication to think and act as trustees of Earth.

The Earth Day Peace Bell Ceremonies at the United Nations (March 20-21) have brought together leaders of east and west in a common commitment to "think and act as trustees of Earth." The March Equinox Earth Day has promoted conciliation and has been credited with helping end the cold war and spreading support for environmental action.

This happened in spite of repeated efforts by April 22 organizers to replace the original Earth Day with their arbitrary date. Their first Earth Day was also in 1970 -- one month after the first Earth Day. They neglect to mention that the name "Earth Day" was never used by them until after the March 21 announcement at the UNESCO National Conference on the Environment in San Francisco in November, 1969. Before that, it was called, "Environmental Teach-In."

The April 22 organizers had political and business connections -- and massive funding. The public's eager endorsement of the ideals suggested by a day called "Earth Day" attracted the vested interests of politicians and big business -- who saw it as a way to capitalize on public empathy. Their backing and the numerous advertisements and editorials in newspapers, including the New York Times, repeatedly ignored the authentic Earth Day and promoted the April 22 imposter. The New York Times then acted as if Earth Day were April 22 -- even though their biggest front page story and photo of Earth Day celebration was on March 21, 1971!

The result: mass confusion because people in positions of power ignored the truth and supplanted the authentic Earth Day. While it has partially fulfilled its purpose, the undermining actions of April 22 organizers (see their many web sites) prevented the world from knowing about and participating in the March 20 Earth Day.

On March 20 (1998) leaders, some from countries in conflict, came together at the United Nations with a profound commitment to the Earth Trustee agenda -- "actions to eliminate pollution, poverty and violence." There was no mention of this in the New York Times or the major TV networks. They could have provided advance stories of plans and preparation -- and a first time celebration of Earth Day in Space. This would have resulted in live coverage and millions of people joining with heart and mind when the United Nations Peace Bell was rung -- and fostered a change world-wide from Earth Kill to Earth Care. The harm done by the confusion caused by the April 22 Earth Day far exceeds the good it has done.

However, this year the March Earth Day was featured in the Moscow press and celebrated on the Mir Space Station. (Costa Rica, Austria and Iran reported joining in the observance.) The authentic Earth Day in years past led to new attitudes that helped end communism in Russia. Now in its authentic Earth Day initiative, Moscow provides new hope for life on our planet!

To clarify the issue and overcome the confusion, major media should provide a calendar that will list dates that have been widely accepted as international holidays. Give their names, purposes and history. It will be noted that Arbor Day was started by J. Sterling Morton in 1872. On his death in1907 his birth day, April 22, became Arbor Day -- a date still recognized as Arbor Day in many countries.

Seeing the whole picture, people can better choose when and what they will do on special days that focus attention on their efforts. Events can then complement each other without confusion. Then together, we can achieve the Earth Trustee purpose:

"The people of Earth have the raw materials and technology for all to enjoy a life of quality. ...Individuals and institutions can now be trustees of the Earth, seeking in ecology, economics and ethics, policies and decisions that will benefit people and planet. In the present state of the world, this Space Age trustee concept has a chance of tapping the best in human hopes and aspirations and providing a healthy, innovative and fulfilling future for our planet and its people. In this new future deeds will demonstrate what is best in creeds."

From the Prelude to the Earth

Magna Charta by John McConnell