Jan. 17, 1961: In his Farewell Address, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower urges vigilance during the height of the Cold War, but he adds that America risks falling under the power of a "military-industrial complex" diverting its resources into building new and bigger weapons.

Jan. 17, 1968: In a wide-ranging State of the Union Address, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson Mount Nyiragongocalls for new laws on food safety; safe drinking water; protection of redwood forests and scenic rivers; and highway beautification.

Jan. 17, 1993: After dominating the Tacoma, Washington skyline for over a century, the smokestack at ASARCO’s smelter is demolished. Leaving behind a Superfund site with an estimate 12 square miles of Tacoma contaminated by lead, arsenic and other wastes, ASARCO becomes a poster child for avoiding paying its Superfund debts through a combination of lawyering, bankruptcies, and shell-company transfers.

Jan. 17, 2002: Mount Nyiragongo (at right) erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, engulfing part of the city of Goma. Most of Goma’s 500,000 residents flee, and about 245 die.

Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

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

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.