Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 10, 2015

Brainbuster - Make Your Brain Tingle

This column was originally published in the Hamilton County Herald on April 18, 2014. 

April 22 marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, a day set aside to bring awareness to and promote appreciation for the Earth’s environment. How much do you know about Earth Day? Take this quiz – maybe learn something new!

1. When was the first Earth Day? March 21, 1970; April 22, 1970; May 21, 1970; June 22, 1970.

2. How many countries celebrate Earth Day? 10; 47; 96; 175.

3. What politician is considered the founder of Earth Day? President John F. Kennedy; Sen. Gaylord Nelson; President Richard Nixon; Sen. James L. Buckley.

4. The Ecology Flag, which has become an official symbol of Earth Day, is patterned after the American flag and contains what three colors? Red, White, Blue; Green, White, Yellow; Blue, Green, Purple; Red, Orange, Yellow.

5. The “Earth Day Anthem,” a universal song associated with Earth Day, shares what melody with the official anthem of the European Union? Mozart’s “Symphony No. 6”; Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”; Handel’s “Atlanta”; Bach’s “Toccata in D Minor.”

6. The first Earth Day celebration consisted primarily of environmental demonstrations but also helped propel which of these actions? The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency; the amendment of the Clean Air Act; the development of the Clean Water Act; all of the above.

7. Which of these is not an event currently scheduled on Earth Day by the Earth Day Network? Participating in a 5K run to benefit environmental charities; recycling electronics at an Earth Day fair; skateboarding in Zurich, Switzerland, with other eco-minded riders; digging your own eco-friendly grave.

8. How many participants are expected for this year’s Earth Day? 1 million; 20 million; 700 million; 1 billion.

9. Formed in 1872, what became the world’s first national park? Corbet National Park in India; Kruger National Park in South Africa; Yellowstone National Park in the US; Ordesa National Park in Spain.

10. Formed in 1903, what was the first wildlife refuge in the US? Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia; Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida; Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska; Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey.


1. The first Earth Day was celebrated in San Francisco on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. 2. 175 countries around the world observe Earth Day on April 22. Some cities start celebrating a week in advance in recognition of Earth Week. 3. Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson began supporting environmental initiatives as early as 1962, though it wasn’t until 1969 that the antiwar “teach-ins” he advocated inspired the grass-roots foundation of the first Earth Day. 4. Created by cartoonist Ron Cobb in November 1969, the Ecology Flag has 13 alternating green and white stripes, and its canton is green with a yellow theta, which is meant to symbolize peace. 5. Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” was chosen to serve as the melody for the “Earth Day Anthem” because it’s widely recognized, easily performed, and originally composed for voice. 6. Just eight months after the first Earth Day, the EPA began dealing with all of the country’s eco-initiatives, from banning DDT and setting emission standards to regulating the application of lead-based paint and preventing water pollution. 7. From celebrating at the zoo to painting over graffiti, the Earth Day Network currently lists on its website more than 1,000 events and volunteer opportunities happening on Earth Day in cities across the country, but digging your own eco-friendly grave is NOT something that has yet been addressed. 8. Earth Day Network, the nonprofit organization that oversees the holiday’s events and celebrations, says about 1 billion people participate in Earth Day each year, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.” 9. Yellowstone National Park, located primarily in Wyoming, is widely held to be the world’s first national park. Since Yellowstone was established, more than 4,000 national parks and preserves have been founded around the world. 10. Established by an executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt on March 14, 1903, the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is located off the east coast of Florida.