Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Meet Gaylord Nelson, Founder of Earth Day

Gaylord Anton Nelson

Read More About It

"Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise" by Gaylord Nelson

"Gaylord Nelson: A Day for the Earth" by Jeffrey Shulman and Teresa Rogers



Interesting Fact:

Nelson's great-grandfather helped to found the Republican Party in Wisconsin.

Study Questions:

  • What were the major issues Nelson worked on while governor of Wisconsin?
  • Why was Nelson so interested in the environment?
  • What has Nelson done since leaving the U.S. Senate in 1981?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on June 4:

    1896: Henry Ford successfully tests his "horseless carriage," the "quadricycle."
    1942: The Battle of Midway begins during World War II.

  • June 4

    Wisconsin's Governors

    June 4, 1916: Gaylord Nelson, Wisconsin's 35th governor, was born on June 4, 1916 in Clear Lake. After serving in the army during World War II, Nelson returned to Wisconsin to practice law. He served for three terms in the state Senate and was elected governor in 1958, becoming the first Democratic governor since 1932. Nelson served two terms as governor. He was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1964, serving until 1981. President Bill Clinton called Nelson the father of Earth Day and the grandfather of all modern environmental legislation when honoring Nelson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

    Wisconsin History Day By Day homepage
    January - December calendar page