First photo of the whole Earth

Perhaps one of the most powerful images of all time, the first photo of the whole Earth, taken November 10, 1967, has had a significant impact on human consciousness. Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog, had these observations about the image:

[It was] motivating for a lot of people, because it gave the sense that Earth is an island, surrounded by a lot of inhospitable space. And it’s so graphic, this little blue, white, green, and brown jewel-like icon amongst a quite featureless black vacuum. Islands know about limitations. Bucky [Buckminster Fuller] led me to this notion. He said people still think the earth is flat because they act as if its resources are infinite. But that photograph showed otherwise…. This is all we’ve got and we’ve got to make it work. There’s no backup. (Massive Change Radio, March 2, 2004)

After this image achieved wide-scale circulation, Earth Day was founded and gained a broad political following, enlisting support from all kinds of people who are moved by both the limitations and the uniqueness of our planet.

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