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In 1970, U-M held a massive “Teach-In on the Environment” organized by U-M students, which drew more than 50,000 people. The Crisler Arena kickoff had an overflow crowd who gathered to hear Ralph Nader, Edmund Muskie, Sens. Gaylord Nelson and Phil Hart, then-Governor William Milliken, ecological leaders, CEOs of companies, scientists, television stars, and performers. The Michigan Daily estimated that there were over 125 events including four large rallies and dozens of workshops across campus and at Ann Arbor high schools.

Five weeks later, on April 22, the first Earth Day was celebrated nationwide—building on the momentum generated by the U-M Teach-In on the Environment.

As we mark the 50th anniversary of these founding Earth Day events, concerns about our environment are more urgent than ever. U-M is dedicating this year — Earth Day at 50 — to bringing campus and community partners together at events, lectures, exhibits, and more, to explore the impact we’re currently making on sustainability and how we can rise to the challenge of creating a better future for our planet.

There are many ways that each of us can make a difference. To get started, we encourage you to learn more about our history and our current efforts, attend events, and get involved on campus.