2005 – Gaylord Nelson dies

On this day in 2005, Wisconsin Governor and Senator passed away. He is best-remembered as an environmental reformer and the creator of Earth Day. Borrowing a tactic of the anti-Vietnam war protests, the teach-in, Sen. Nelson suggested a full day be dedicated to teaching and learning about the environment. Nelson believed that if citizens knew more about the environment, they would demand better protection. His efforts led to the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.