April 21, 1838: John Muir (at right), legendary conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club, is born in Dunbar, Scotland.
April 21, 1948: Aldo Leopold, one of America's first great nature writers and the father of wildlife ecology, dies in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Leopold’s Sand County Almanac, published the year after his death, became a literary classic, and he co-founded the Wilderness Society.
April 21, 1980: On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the first Earth Day, toxic waste drums ignite and explode at the Chemical Control Company in Elizabeth, NJ. Fears of widespread contamination forces the closure of schools in the area, and fishing is banned in the New York-New Jersey area for the next 72 hours.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons