Peter GarrettMarch 12, 1928: Over 500 die when the Saint Francis Dam fails, fifty miles north of Los Angeles. Floodwaters go on a 50-mile rampage to the sea, leveling several small towns before entering the Pacific near Ventura.

March 12, 1993: While it’s not unusual to hear the phrase "Storm of the Century" tossed around many times in a century, the "Great Blizzard of 1993" qualifies in many places along the U.S. east coast. The Birmingham, Alabama area, accustomed to frequent snow-free winters, got up to 16 inches; Hartford, Connecticut and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania reported over two feet of snow.

March 12, 2007: Peter Garrett (at right), the six-foot, ten-inch lead singer for the band Midnight Oil, becomes Australia's Environment Minister.

March 12, 2010: Arizona Senator John McCain, who sponsored unsuccessful 2003 legislation to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, changes his tune at a New Hampshire political forum. Faced with a stiff reelection challenge, McCain says climate science is "uncertain."

March 12, 2011: An explosion and radiation leak is reported from Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichii nuclear reactor complex. The nuke plants reportedly survived a massive earthquake the day before, but were crippled by a tsunami which followed the quake.

Photo: Mark Graham/AP

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