Today, Kansas Citians will be celebrating Earth Day at Powell Gardens or Lakeside Nature Center or Science City or maybe at the Earth Day 5K and 10K runs.
The more ideologically inclined can join the soi-disant “March for Science” at Washington Square Park. The march is followed by an after party/ environmental fund raiser in the Bier Station Parking Lot. Say the organizers, “think: our massive, Planned Parenthood Great Plains event.” But even those folks likely do not know why the event is being held on April 22.
It all goes back to the first Earth Day, which took place on April 22, 1970, a Wednesday. How this seemingly arbitrary date was picked has been lost to history. No one has taken public credit for choosing it.
Still, one does not have to be a conspiracy theorist to suspect that the choice of date might have had something to do with the fact that April 22, 1970, was Vladimir Lenin’s one-hundredth birthday.
As historian Paul Kengor has observed, the selection of April 22 “didn’t escape notice in 1970.” According to Kengor, the major media had not yet yielded to the passion of the masses.
As testament, Time magazine dared to comment critically that the first Earth Day “had aspects of a secular, almost pagan holiday.” Time also noted that 100,000 people marched in New York City that day. It was in New York, said Kengor, where the communist presence was strongest.
“Communists specialized in agitation and propaganda. They had a campaign for everything. They excelled at suckering impressionable liberal/progressive dupes, especially youth,” wrote Kengor, who added that he “would be amazed if communists had not been involved in Earth Day from the outset.”
Whoever chose the date chose wisely. The springtime pageantry gave students a pleasant reprieve from their strenuous anti-war activities and proved to be a huge success. In the years since, Earth Day has morphed into a messianic global institution, the commemoration of which is all but mandatory in many quarters, even here in Kansas City where everything is painfully up to date.