Skip to comments.Former Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson Dies At 89
Posted on 07/03/2005 9:03:41 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
MILWAUKEE -- Gaylord Nelson, a former governor and U.S. senator from Wisconsin and the founder of Earth Day, died Sunday morning. He was 89.
Nelson died at his home in Kensington, Md., of cardiovascular failure.
Family spokesman and Nelson's biographer Bill Christofferson said Nelson died peacefully with his wife beside him.
Twenty-five years after the first Earth Day, April 22 is still a day on which many people plant trees, clean up trash and lobby for a clean environment.
Nelson was a conservationist years before it became fashionable. He was recognized as one of the world's foremost environmental leaders.
Then-President Bill Clinton presented Nelson with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 for his environmental efforts.
Clinton called Nelson the father of Earth Day and the grandfather of all that grew out of that event, including the Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Oh, and there's that pesky "Tonkin Gulf" episode:
"SEC. 3. This resolution shall expire when the President shall determine that the peace and security of the area is reasonably assured by international conditions created by action of the United Nations or otherwise, except that it may be terminated earlier by concurrent resolution of the Congress.
[Gaylord Nelson, Dem.-Wis.] . . . Am I to understand that it is the sense of Congress that we are saying to the executive branch: "If it becomes necessary to prevent further aggression, we agree now, in advance, that you may land as many divisions as deemed necessary, and engage in a direct military assault on North Vietnam if it becomes the judgment of the Executive, the Commander in Chief, that this is the only way to prevent further aggression"?
[William Fulbright, Dem.-Ark] As I stated, section I is intended to deal primarily with aggression against our forces.... I do not know what the limits are. I do not think this resolution can be determinative of that fact. I think it would indicate that he [the President] would take reasonable means first to prevent any further aggression, or repel further aggression against our own forces...I do not know how to answer the Senator's question and give him an absolute assurance that large numbers of troops would not be put ashore. I would deplore it....
MR. NELSON: . . . My concern is that we in Congress could give the impression to the public that we are prepared at this time to change our mission and substantially expand our commitment. If that is what the sense of Congress is, I am opposed to the resolution. I therefore ask the distinguished Senator from Arkansas if he would consent to accept an amendment [that explicitly says Congress wants no extension of the present military conflict and no U.S. direct military involvement]."
RIP Earth Day Guy
I'll go bulldoze a tree in his honor.
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