June 17, 1942: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt directs the Army to take charge of nuclear weapons construction. The Army Corps of Engineers creates the "Manhattan Engineering District," whose work is dubbed "The Manhattan Project."
June 17, 1943: Newton LeRoy McPherson is born in Pennsylvania. He adopts his stepfather's last name and by 1970, Newt Gingrich (at right, in 2010) is head of the environmental studies department and faculty advisor to the Sierra Club at West Georgia College. He is elected on his third try for Congress. By 1995, House Speaker Newt Gingrich is leading a revolt against "Big Government," including environmental regulation.
June 17, 2010: After the Obama administration negotiates BP's funding of a $20 billion cleanup pool for damages from the Gulf oil spill, Texas Congressman Joe Barton apologizes to BP CEO Tony Hayward for "a tragedy in the first proportion" for a "shakedown." Barton later apologizes for the apology, then backs off his apology for the apology.
June 17, 2012: Rainfall that will eventually total over seven inches brings the worst-ever flooding to Duluth, Minnesota. The damage toll will top $100 million.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons