Dec. 22, 1912:
Lady Bird Johnson, wife of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, is born in Karnack, Texas. While her husband served as president, Lady Bird made highway beautification
a national issue, inspiring state and federal measures to limit roadside billboards and promote the planting of wildflowers.
Dec. 22, 1958:
Alarmed by reports of drifting radiation from U.S. nuclear weapons tests, a citizens’ group launched a campaign to collect 50,000 baby teeth
to measure levels of radioactive Strontium 90. The results helped the drive to end atmospheric nuke tests.
Dec. 22, 1988: Chico Mendes
(at right, in July 1988), leader of the rubber tappers’ union in Brazil and a staunch opponent of deforestation, is murdered near his home.
Dec. 22, 2008:
A retaining wall at the Tennessee Valley Authority coal-burning power plant gives way, dumping million of gallons of coal ash residue into local waterways
. Coal ash waste, normally stored onsite at coal-burning power plants, contains unburned toxins like cadmium. The coal sludge inundated waterways near the Kingston plant and damaged 15 homes.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons