Jan. 12, 1953: The Hatteras National Seashore is established along North Carolina's Outer Banks. The seashore's unspoiled beaches and dunes offer a haven for migratory birds and nesting sea turtles.

Jan. 12, 1977: U.S. President Gerald R. Ford renews his call for reducing oil imports. But he points out in his State of the Union address that such imports had risen by 10 percent in the previous four years.

Protestor of Heathrow Airport's proposed third runwayJan. 12, 2009: Almost 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Department of Energy still spends two-thirds of its budget on maintaining and cleaning up its nuclear weapons. Stephen Schwartz of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and Deepti Choubey of the Carnegie Endowment also reveal that significant chunks of the budgets of U.S. Defense and Homeland Security departments also focus on nuclear weapons.

Jan. 12, 2010: A magnitude-7.0 earthquake strikes near Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. The death toll is estimated at nearly a quarter million. Haiti's poor infrastructure leaves hundreds of thousands of people homeless for many months.

Jan. 12, 2010: Opponents of a proposed third runway at London's Heathrow Airport (at right) pop a surprise on airport officials: They've bought a chunk of the land needed to build the runway.

Photo: ZUMA Press

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

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