The 1970s were a colorful time in history. So many things began in that decade that helped shape the expanded perspectives of today. The first Earth Day was celebrated, Microsoft and Apple set up shop, and Star Wars and Garfield the Cat were born. Many older folks remember the '70s as a recovery period from the racy '60s, with accepted behavior snapping back from the era of free love and flower power.
In addition to all the collective changes going on, language took on a life of its own, and the slang of the era became a truly beautiful thing to behold. Great, alright, wonderful and cool became far out, groovy, and hip. Cars and clothes went flashy, and the disco was the preferred social scene. Like everything else, slang has a cyclical nature, with many of the old words coming back to popularity occasionally. Have fun seeing how many of these 1970s gems are hidden in your modern vocabulary.
Did you know that the first Earth Day was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin? After seeing the damage done by a huge oil spill in California, Nelson was inspired to force environmental protection into the national spotlight. He announced the idea of holding a national teach-in that would raise public awareness about air and water pollution. The event was publicized across the country and was enthusiastically received by people from all walks of life.
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated in parks and auditoriums and marched in the streets for a sustainable, healthy environment. Thousands of colleges and universities also held massive rallies. It was a rarely seen alignment of politicians, rich people, poor people, city dwellers, country folk, big business tycoons and labor leaders. As a result of the first Earth Day, The Environmental Protection Agency was born, along with the phrase, tree hugger, another bit of slang that's still around.
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