Nevada Power's Reid-Gardner plantJuly 26, 1943: In the middle of World War II, Los Angeles is enveloped in "smog" for the first time. The city struggles for a half-century with air pollution that is more caused by cars than by factories or coal stoves. Angelenos with stinging eyes and respiratory problems mistakenly think they're under a chemical weapons attack by Japan.

July 26, 1963: An earthquake damages three-quarters of the buildings in Skopje, capital city of Macedonia. A hundred thousand are left homeless. Skopje was also destroyed by an earthquake in the 6th Century A.D.

July 26, 2007: The Environmental Integrity Project ranks the worst U.S. electric power plants. Coal-burning plants sweep the competition – Georgia Power's Scherer plant and Nevada Power's Reid-Gardner plant (above) lead in carbon dioxide emissions; Georgia Power's Bowen plant and PSI Energy's Gallagher plant in Indiana lead in acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide emissions; two Texas plants lead in mercury emissions.

July 26, 2012:  In extreme conditions likened to the 1930’s “Dust Bowl,” the US says that more than half the area of the lower 48 states are in drought conditions.

Photo: EPA

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