Happy Earth Day! This special day for recognizing and fighting the serious and negative effects of climate change began on April 22nd, 1970. On that first Earth Day, 20 million Americans peacefully demonstrated to shine light on the devastating effects of modern life and production on wildlife and the climate. Soon after this the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and other laws meant to protect the environment were passed by the government. By the 1990s Earth Day expanded and came to be celebrated by over 200 million people in 141 countries–and now more than 1 billion people all around the world participate on Earth Day in order to help the environment.