This February and January were the 53rd years of one of the country’s worst environmental disasters.
It also gave rise to an annual celebration that is celebrated around the globe.
Cities all over the U.S. and the world have held or will hold events to commemorate Earth Day, which officially falls on Friday.
People had to remember the tragedy that led to the creation of Earth Day before they could celebrate environmental awareness through various festivals.
On January 28, 1969, A massive oil spillage occurred in the Pacific Ocean, California, near Santa Barbara..
The oil spillage continued into February. It was the worst oil spillage in U.S. waters at that time. However, it has since been overtaken by the 1989 Exxon Valdez spillage (Alaska) as well as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (Gulf of Mexico).
The source was a blowout at Union Oils Platform A in an off-shore oil field that saw between 85,000 and 10,000 barrels crude oil spilled over a period of 10 days.
Nearly 4,000 birds perished and many other marine mammals and wildlife were also affected by the disaster.
Union Oil was the victim of multiple lawsuits over the next five-years to help pay the damages.
Santa Barbara received $4million, and owners of homes, hotels, and other buildings that suffered damage were awarded $6.5million.
After seeing the effects of an airplane’s crash, Sen. Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin) and Denis Allen Hayes (Environmental Advocate) were inspired by Earth Day.
On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated with rallies and celebrations all over the country. President Richard Nixon planted a tree on the White House’s south lawn with first lady Pat Nixon.
Earth Day was made an international event in 1990.
This story was published for the first time in 2019. It has been updated.