Earth Day

Learn about Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson (1916–2005) and how environmental disasters of his day inspired the creation of Earth Day in 1970. On December 7, 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts captured a now-iconic image of Earth, sometimes called the “blue marble.” Our National Air and Space Museum explains how it became an inspiration and symbol for continuing Earth Day celebrations

Explore events, exhibitions, resources, and podcasts that highlight Smithsonian efforts to advance sustainability and discovery in order to help people and nature thrive together.

What inspires you? Take a look at posters, buttons, stamps, and other environmental objects from our collections. Smithsonian researchers emphasize the critical importance of empowering and partnering with local communities to conserve biodiversity and develop solutions to climate change.