Aug. 1, 1975: Outraged at the environmental degradation of the American West, author Edward Abbey publishes "The Monkey Wrench Gang" about four fictional saboteurs who disrupt development projects. The fiction inspires the real-life group, Earth First!
Aug. 1, 1971: North Vietnam suffers one of the worst floods in modern history. More than 100,000 perish from the flooding of the Red River, which runs near the capital city of Hanoi. Little is reported on the disaster to the outside world, as North Vietnam is in the midst of a war with the United States.
Aug. 1, 1990: McDonald’s and the Environmental Defense Fund sign an agreement to limit the fast-food chain’s waste. McDonald’s moves away from Styrofoam hamburger containers and pledges to cut its use of plastic and non-recycled paper.