Tire fireMarch 13, 1925: The Butler Act is passed in the Tennessee State Senate, imposing criminal penalties for anyone who teaches evolution in any public school or college in the state. Only six of the state's thirty Senators give the measure an opposable thumbs-down. The law takes effect six days later, and in May, substitute teacher John Scopes is arrested and later convicted under the law.

March 13, 1991: In a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the State of Alaska, Exxon agrees to pay $1 billion in criminal fines and civil damages for the Exxon Valdez spill two years earlier. Civil lawsuits from fishermen and other spill victims would drag on well into the 21st Century before settlements are paid.

March 13, 1996: Tire fires (at right) are usually a massive, and a rural, phenomenon. But an urban tire fire can be relatively small and still do serious damage. A lot containing 10,000 tires ignites in Philadelphia alongside Interstate 95, the primary north-south highway for the U.S. East Coast, damaging a bridge and closing the freeway.

Photo: blmurch/Flickr

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

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