RELEASE - April 22, 2000
SPURIOUS APRIL 22 EARTH DAY
By Gary Arvidson
Less than a month ago I was seeking to know more about Earth Day on the Internet. I received a major shock. I found two separate claimants for the notion of Earth Day. Which one was the true founder?
The original claimant (March 21, 1970) had an agenda that was purely concern for the Earth. (See website: http://www.earthsite.org/) I was utterly amazed at the buried facts that were uncovered during a thorough examination of this web site - and others.
The "monkey-see-monkey-do" claimant (April 22, 1970) had a political agenda. (See www.sdearthtimes.com/edn/earthday) Why the massive focus on April 22 - the bogus Earth Day?
The original founder of Earth Day is John McConnell. He has something important to say about the deception concerning Earth Day on April 22. On his web site at: www.earthsite.org/decept.htm McConnell states:
April 22 is not the authentic Earth Day but a power play to supplant the original Earth Day and use the event for political purposes. It is well documented that John McConnell originated the name, idea and date of Earth Day. His purpose was to use the powerful imagery and history of the March Equinox as an annual event that would increase global commitment to the stewardship of earth. The first Earth Day was March 21, 1970 - celebrated with citywide participation in the City of San Francisco.
Later in 1970, McConnell obtained the strong support of UN Secretary General U Thant. Sen. Gaylord Nelson's office then tried to have U Thant change the date to April 22. U Thant rejected the idea, saying John McConnell's Earth Day on the first day of Spring was a much better idea.
While promoting environmental action, the April 22 organizers were politically motivated and devious in their methods. When they heard plans for Earth Day at the 1969 UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, they changed their initial name --"Environmental Teach-In" to Earth Day and with their money and political clout got national attention for their competing April 22 Earth Day.
In their efforts they never mention the original Earth Day was on March 21, 1970 (the First Day of Spring) and is the Earth Day celebrated every year at the United Nations. According to George Gallup and other world information authorities, the March Earth Day has made a major contribution to peace, justice and the care of Earth. (More at http://www.earthsite.org/)
Most people assume the day espoused by the mainstream media is Earth Day. April 22 has not been compared with its authentic original. The essential elements about the bogus "Earth Day" are in the following portion of the taped record of my interviewing John McConnell over the telephone on Friday evening, April 14, 2000. He said, "Nothing of lasting value can be built on a foundation of lies."
Note: Abbr. John McConnell (JM) Gary Arvidson (GA)
GA "Hello, is Mr. John McConnell there?
JM "This is he."
GA "Greetings. Mr. McConnell, my name is Gary Arvidson. I live in North Carolina."
GA "The reason I'm calling is because of a newspaper article about Earth Day. Consequently I did some research about it on the Internet at Gaston College here in Gaston County."
GA "I was curious to notice two separate dates are given for Earth Day - March 21 and April 22. Obviously, this affects correct observance - and related publicity. Furthermore, I've noticed a serious controversy has arisen over this discrepancy. Most of all, I'm amazed by the deception that has occurred with the April 22 date. From all evidence, it appears that March 21 is the correct (original) date."
JM "Well, what I can't understand is why the New York Times keeps giving big articles about the other Earth Day. I faxed them and phoned them - and they just ignore the records.
"If anybody would come to my home (I live right here in New York), I have the original Earth Day Proclamation. You probably know how it started in San Francisco - and of course I have the original proclamation from there.
I have dozens of proclamations. But the most important is the one signed in 1970 by the UN Secretary General, U Thant. He made that a big event in 1971 - and we had attention all over the world...
"But the whole thing is that nature's March Equinox is a unique powerful event that relates with history. It was the new year in India, China, Iran, and other nations around the world. It's incredible. But the main point is that it's nature's event. It is the first day of Spring.
"I think of Issac Asimov - when he helped us on Earth Day at the United Nations. One year, at the ringing of the Peace Bell, he said, 'When we ring the Peace Bell it's nature's moment of new life -- when Spring begins. And our planet needs a new beginning.'"
GA "You're right."
JM "There are many great statements by world leaders about this. But still, if you read the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or the average newspaper - or go to AP - why you wouldn't even know it exists."
GA "I know. This is what blew my mind. I mean, you have documented all of this - and no one knows. How in the world did they ever pick April 22?"
JM "Well, the thing is...let me explain. Of course it's on my web site, but I can tell you clearly - no one has sent a notice, or a dated letter, or a newspaper article that even mentions the two words Earth Day until I announced it with the original Proclamation from San Francisco.
"We did that in November 1969 - and they were having a national conference at UNESCO about the environment. (UNESCO continued as sponsors of our Earth Day at the United Nations.)
"Now there were people present who were with the Environmental Teach-In (which Denis Hayes and Gaylord Nelson were promoting). They came to me right after our announcement and said, 'This is a great name, but you should change the date to April 22. We are already organized on the campuses for a massive "Environmental Teach-In" on that date and we could change it to "Earth Day." I told them No, the equinox was the best basis for a global Earth Day.
GA "But how could this erroneous basis have been permitted to continue? Are you suggesting they had an alternate agenda?
JM "It was a political and financial benefit they were looking for, and it's true that Earth Day is an easier name - and a better name than "Environmental Teach-In." But they never used the name until after they heard our announcement of Earth Day at the November 1969 UNESCO Conference.
GA "But why April 22? What happened on April 22 that is so critical?
JM What they tell you is that they 'just chose it for convenience on the campuses.' In 1970 they had a terrific protest movement going. They buried cars, and 'put garbage on corporate carpets'. See, the idea was about protesting pollution, and you know, to a certain extent that's fine. But the whole thing is that if you want to really build something worthwhile - you don't build it on a foundation of lies. They 'borrowed' the name 'Earth Day' for their event one month after we observed Earth Day. Then they represented their 'Earth Day' as the true Earth Day.
"I was urged to sue. But I just happen to be an Evangelical Christian, and I don't believe in trying to settle problems that way. I went to them. I saw them. In fact Denis Hayes told me he was sorry that they made a mistake on that since he didn't really understand. He wasn't the one that heard my announcement - and so he said they would come back to our day next year.
"But instead of coming back to our day, they tried to stop me at the United Nations. Senator Gaylord Nelson sent one of his aids to the Secretary General to ask him to change the date. He said that the UN has received the hospitality of the United States - and so here is a senator asking him to change [on that basis] the date to April 22.
"He [Secretary General] told him that I had come to him first, and that I had a much better idea - and that was it. He signed my proclamation.."
GA "But here is the whole point. Are they going to lock in April 22 - which is 31 days from March 21? Are they going to do this based merely on a giant student protest? A protest is not only a flimsy basis for such an important event as Earth Day - but it is negative and non-constructive by its nature. The Equinox is not only natural and symbolic - but intrinsically positive. Is the protest the real basis for this date - or is there something else?"
JM "Well, the only other thing they had was - and I really don't think they did it for this reason - because I think I understand where Gaylord Nelson is coming from. But when they had 'Earth Day' in 1970 on April 22 - it was the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Communism's Lenin in 1870."
GA "So, what are we talking about then? Does Gaylord Nelson favor this particular form of Socialism in some way?"
JM "In movements like this, people get mixed up with all kinds of people. As far as I was concerned, I know people that have been supporting our effort that I didn't agree with at all. It's like the equinox. For example, there are some people that go back into history and find that the equinox was a pagan holiday. But it also decides when we have Easter. Some people want to make it a pagan holiday.
GA "But who are these usurpers, and what gives them the right to push an alternate day for the one originally fielded? I feel that you are being cheated out of your rightful recognition for having originated the concept of Earth Day. This is why I made the phone call."
JM "Well yes, if you want to know. It's so ironic. It's ridiculous. But anyway.
This year I told friends I would like to celebrate Earth Day 2000 back in San Francisco where it started. This would be the 30th anniversary of the first Earth Day and the first in the new millennium. Somebody put up the money for my fare, and I flew back. We had a proclamation from the Mayor of San Francisco - and we had the ceremony.
"It was such a beautiful event. We had the daughter of the former mayor, Mayor Alioto, who was the Mayor who had gone all out. We had San Francisco turned right side up on Earth Day 1970. We had everybody - the schools, the universities, the businesses, and the government. Everybody participated - the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Red Cross. The Red Cross took plants to schools all over the city. So anyway."
GA "But how can they bury this - and bury you in the process?"
JM "I don't know. There are conspiracy theories out there - but I don't think they're...I don't know what to say. It's ridiculous. There are some people who believe that big corporate powers decide what every body does. And we live in a media-made world - so the corporate world pulls the strings and decides what's in the media. There is an element of truth in that."
GA "Right. Well what is your background, and how did it affect your connection with Earth Day?
JM "What actually headed me toward Earth Day was back in 1957. I was publishing a weekly paper called the Toe Valley View in Bakersville, NC. It was right near Spruce Pine. Prior to that I had been in Mountain View, California - which is now Silicon Valley.
"I had been involved with top scientists. I knew Dr. Teller and other scientists out at Cal Tech in Pasadena. That was before I went to publish the newspaper in North Carolina.
"Well, anyway, I knew about the budding Space program and followed it very carefully. When the first Sputnik surprised the whole world, I wrote an editorial for our Toe Valley View urging the American Satellite be a bright visible "Star of Hope."
Consequently, I was on the front page of newspapers all over the world. I had over 2,000 fan letters when I was on the Arlene Francis TV Show. I was featured on the Dave Garroway Show. Mrs. Roosevelt had me come and see her. Subsequently, I had correspondence with her. I later had my picture with President Dwight D. Eisenhower. I mean, you think somebody would be interested in the story."
GA "I'm interested. But more than that, all this makes me wonder how you can be so totally ignored. It also causes some concern about Senator Gaylord Nelson. What is his agenda? How can he do this to you?
JA "Well, if you've read philosophically on the problem of power, there is an explanation. This is power. He is a powerful senator. And boy, they don't like to take 2nd place to anyone. He saw the potential of the name Earth Day. He saw that Earth Day was really going somewhere.
"I don't know. Of course I can't judge what his motives were. But he saw power - and the potential in the name Earth Day. In fact, he had corporations behind him - and brought in millions of dollars for pushing the idea that their "Earth Day" was the day that corporations needed to identify with. In short corporations needed to support this in order to stay out of trouble. The matter is filled with conflicting issues.
GA "But it looks like he stole it, right?"
JM "Of course he did. He stole the name. And I was criticized by a lawyer for not having copyrighted and trademarked the idea. Of course, I never thought such a thing would happen."
GA "Yeah I know, you don't think these things are going to occur. But you have witnesses don't you?"
JM "It's well documented. If this ever came up in a court, why Gaylord Nelson would have nothing - absolutely nothing to stand on. The point is..."
GA "Why don't you pursue it?"
JM "No, I don't want to. I've got too little time left [he's 85 years old] - and I believe if I can get (pause). But even as I say that, I need to FAX you something. It is called Key Concepts Needed to Save Our Planet. It's about 10 pages. But anyway.
"There is one thing out of all we have discussed - and that is - I keep trying to do things without money. It's ridiculous. We get only minuscule media coverage from our efforts. Hence the financial support is lacking."
GA "Well, it appears that the people of the deception who have passed off the counterfeit 'Earth Day' have obtained all the financial support - and consequently are able to effectively force you out of the picture. We live a frugal life since I'm a free-lance writer - and can't afford to send money at this time. However, I'll do whatever else I can to help your cause."
JM "I understand. In short, we live in a media-made world. So if you feel strongly about this - then you may have some contact that would get the attention of a newspaper - or of a community. I have contended that words are not enough. We need examples. We need more people and institutions to
demonstrate the Earth Day/Earth Trustee vision and agenda.
GA "I think what you claim is a highly newsworthy item. Frankly, I think one of the major grabbers is the question:
"Why did they pick April 22nd?"
"I'd like to see that question asked in bold type. A provocative inquiry like this could become the basis for capitalizing on the fact that the public has been fed a bogus day for Earth Day. It's time for Gaylord Nelson to face the facts of his misinformation campaign. Lord Acton said: 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
"What other reason could there be for the April 22 date? Can you think of anything else?"
JM "No. They said that they just arbitrarily chose the day because it would be convenient on the campuses at that time. It may have been because of the warmer weather and/or some connection with Arbor Day. But I know of nothing else."
GA "But is that true?"
JM "I think that it may well be. At least I'll give them the benefit of the doubt there."
GA "OK. But they arbitrarily chose it, and they arbitrarily nosed you out of any recognition for the work you had done. The sad thing is that it forced attention away from the correct Earth Day and its rightful author - you.
Summary: In short, we have two Earth
#1. The only true Earth Day: March 21, 1970 It is devoted solely to "peace, justice and environmental issues."
#2 The subsequent Earth Day: April 22, 1970 It is devoted to Political and Financial interests under the auspices of the noble issues above.
Note: For questions regarding the content of this transcript and other documentation, please contact:
Earth Trustees, Inc.
4924 E. Kentucky Circle
Denver, CO 80246
Reported by --
2451 County Line Road
Kings Mountain, NC
"If people want to celebrate April 22 in promotion of environmental action -- that's fine. But let them use a name that doesn't infringe on the authentic, original Earth Day. There are many good names they could use. How about Eco Day, Environment Day or their original name, Environmental Teach-In. It damages Earth Day when they call April 22 by that name; just as it would damage Christmas to call April 22 "Christmas" and give it a different meaning than the real Christmas. In today's society too many
people ignore the importance of telling the truth. (Satan in the garden of Eden told Eve she could benefit by using deception) The April 22 Earth Day organizations never mention the true Earth Day -- but pretend it doesn't exist. They have stated that Margaret Mead was a strong supporter of the April 22 Earth Day (which is not true). Let them post what she said in the March 1978 EPA Journal:
EARTH DAY by Margaret Mead
EPA Journal March 1978
Margaret Mead, an internationally recognized anthropologist, educator, and activist in world affairs, is the 1978 Earth Day chairperson. "Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology - the measurement of time and instantaneous communication through space. Earth Day draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way; using the
vernal equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length in all parts of the Earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible..."
It has been said that the three words which can do the most for people are, "Love One Another." The three words that can do the most for people and planet are, "Understand Earth Day."
Go to Earth Day: Past, Present, Future. http://www.earthsite.org/mc-lee.htm
For copies of original records, contact
John McConnell -