“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Saint Croix Falls in Polk County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 15, 2008
1. Gaylord Nelson Marker
Inscription. Gaylord Anton Nelson (1916–2005), known worldwide as the founder of Earth Day, was the son of a country doctor and a nurse. Born the third of four children on June 4, 1916, at Clear Lake, Wisconsin, 28 miles from here, Nelson canoed the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers as a boy. Plans announced in 1964 for a new power plant on the St. Croix River spurred Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin at the time, to believe the riverway deserved federal protection. Although the power plant was ultimately built, the controversy stimulated the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1989. Designation of 102 miles of the St. Croix River and 98 miles of the Namekagon River created the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, the first such riverway east of the Mississippi.

Nelson held elective office for thirty-two years, including two terms as Wisconsin governor (1959–1963) and three terms in the U.S. Senate (1963–1981). As senator, Nelson was an environmental leader, working to protect the Appalachian Trail corridor, implementing a National Trail System, ban the pesticide DDT, established the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, pass the Wilderness Act, and founded Earth Day. Twenty million people, 10 percent of the American public, participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

When Nelson received
Gaylord Nelson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 15, 2008
2. Gaylord Nelson Marker
the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995, President Clinton proclaimed, "As the father of Earth Day, he is the grandfather of all that grew out of that event: the Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act." Gaylord Nelson died on July 2, 2005, at the age of 89.
Erected 2006 by the Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 504.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
Location. 45° 24.93′ N, 92° 38.753′ W. Marker is in Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin, in Polk County. Marker can be reached from East Massachusetts Street west of North Washington Street (Wisconsin Highway 87), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in the parkway south of the National Park Headquarters, between River Place and North Hamilton Street. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Croix Falls WI 54024, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Where are the Falls? (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); River Spirit (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thompson–Boughton Mill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Where Are The Falls of the St. Croix?
Nearby National Park Headquarters image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, October 15, 2008
3. Nearby National Park Headquarters
(approx. 0.2 miles away); The Battle of St. Croix Falls (approx. 0.8 miles away); St. Croix Falls Lions Park (approx. 0.8 miles away); Chisago Hotel (approx. one mile away in Minnesota); Town House School (approx. one mile away in Minnesota). Click for a list of all markers in Saint Croix Falls.
Also see . . .
1. Gaylord Nelson Dies at 89. "When the Audubon Society recognized 100 people who had shaped the environmental movement in the 20th Century, it said the two political figures on the list who stood out were Nelson and President Theodore Roosevelt." (Submitted on December 28, 2008.) 

2. Gaylord Nelson Historical Marker Unveiled. "The day's events included the dedication of an official state historical marker commemorating Nelson's local and global contributions to environmentalism." (Submitted on December 28, 2008.) 

3. Biographical Directory of the U. S. Congress - Gaylord Nelson. (Submitted on December 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
4. How the First Earth Day Came About by Senator Gaylord Nelson. (Submitted on December 31, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Categories. EnvironmentNotable PersonsPolitics
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,162 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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