Today is Earth Day, a day we celebrate our home. Not the state we live in. And no, not the fact we Americans. Today we celebrate the fact we're all Earthlings! Probably not the day to pollute Mother Earth, right? So no fireworks to celebrate.

Here's a fun fact you may not have known, the holiday was actually created by a guy from Iowa named John McConnell. John hatched the concept back in 1969. The very first nationally recognized Earth Day happened the following year in 1970. Pretty cool, no? Earth Day, a day to celebrate the whole planet was created by an Iowan.

Charles Michael Murray (Public Domain)

John McConnell became fascinated with Earth at a young age

John McConnell was born in Davis, Iowa back in 1915. According to a biography on John, his fascination with the planet came from a young age when he first realized how much the manufacture of plastics polluted the Earth. He also was vehemently opposed to the fighting during World War II, and felt that love and prayer could be more powerful than bombs being dropped.

Earth Day becomes a holiday

In late 1969 while at a conference for peace in California, McConnell pitched the idea for a global holiday to celebrate the planet along with life and beauty. He also pushed his calls for peace as a part of the holiday.

The following year is when the official Earth Day Proclamation was created by the City of San Francisco, and the very first celebration of Earth Day occurred in March 1970. Fast forward a couple months to June 1970, McConnell created the Earth Day Proclamation for worldwide use and awareness. It was promptly signed by 36 world leaders, including the United States.

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John McConnell lived a good, long life and passed away peacefully at age 97 in late 2012.

So there you go! Happy IOWA Earth Day!

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Iowa

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On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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