July 4, 1845: Henry David Thoreau moves in to his cabin on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. The seasons he passes at the pond (at right) result in the classic book "Walden", which is published nine years later.
July 4, 1984: Eight months after it began, the Rhinehart Tire Fire is extinguished in Winchester, Virginia. On Halloween Day, 1983, the five million scrap tires in the Rhinehart junkyard began to combust, sending acrid smoke into the air and molten tires into nearby creeks. Rhinehart spends the next 20 years on the Federal Superfund cleanup list.
July 4, 1995: Robert Semple publishes the editorial "Parks in Peril" about underfunding and neglect in the U.S. National Park System. This and Semple's other work wins the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for the New York Times.
July 4, 2009: A NASA satellite captures an image of what may be the largest dust storm in history, covering much of Iraq, all of Kuwait and portions of Iran, Turkey, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Photo: QuarterCircleS/Wikimedia Commons