Earth Day: Over the Hill, Still Hot : The Picture Show Celebrate Earth Day by looking through some photos.
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Earth Day: Over the Hill, Still Hot

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and I'll come clean: It's one of my favorite days of the year. In my hometown, Earth Day was spent picking up trash, planting trees, learning about recycling and getting peace signs painted on my cheeks. One of my favorite T-shirts is from Earth Day in 1993 — and yes, it still fits. In fact, I'm wearing it right now.

Denis Hayes (AP) hide caption

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I have to thank Denis Hayes who, back in 1970, organized nearly 20 million people across the country in protest for a cleaner environment. And it worked. According to the Earth Day Network, the first Earth Day is credited with helping create the Environmental Protection Agency and passing the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Act.

The EPA in turn launched Documerica, a photo initiative to document environmental issues during the 1970s. A press release from 1971 describes the EPA's mission to achieve "a new environmental ethic in this decade, which will bring profound change in how we live, and in how we provide for future generations."

These images provide a reminder of how far we've come and how far we have yet to go. Happy 40th Earth Day!