I was struck especially with this quote in Dr. King's 1964 acceptance speech:
"I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsom and jetsom in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him."
Returning to Earth Day, it was the brainstorm of John McConnell, and it started in the U.S. in 1970. Now it has evolved into an annual world-wide celebration to commemorate and concentrate on the Earth, doing all we can to maintain & improve the health of our planet. From the first Earth Day April 22, 1970, the movement gained momentum in that the Clean Air Act was written to address air pollution (and was later rewritten in 1990) and Congress created the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Given the enormous activism of the 1960's and the Civil Rights Movement, perhaps it was only natural that other issues (including the environment) started becoming focal points for change as well.