Earth Day fun facts
Exceeding all expectations, 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day observance in 1970. Celebrations effectively stopped traffic in New York City when 20,000 people packed Union Square to see Hollywood actor Paul Newman and hear a speech by New York City Mayor John Lindsay, who arrived on an electric bus. John McConnell was the creator of the first Earth Day Flag. His design was inspired when he saw the first picture of the Earth, later dubbed "The Blue Marble", printed in Life magazine. Throughout the 1970's, Earth Day observances eventually led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Google has celebrated Earth day with animated doodles on its home page since 2001.