Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 on April 22 as a day of education about environmental issues. It started when Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, began a national teach-in on the environment. He hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight, and a number of important pieces of environmental legislation were passed soon after, among them the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Environmental Protection Agency was established later, with the goal of protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land.