The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, was coordinated by environmental activist Denis Hayes (1944–) at the request of Gaylord Nelson (1916–2005), U.S. senator from Wisconsin. Nelson is sometimes called the father of Earth Day. His main objective was to organize a nationwide public demonstration so large it would get the attention of politicians and force the environmental issue into the political dialogue of the nation. Important official actions that began soon after the celebration of the first Earth Day were the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the creation of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality; and the passage of the Clean Air Act, establishing national air quality standards. In 1995, Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to the environmental protection movement. Earth Day continues to be celebrated each spring.