May 11, 1820:
The brig HMS Beagle
(at right) is launched in London. The Royal Navy ship conducts research missions for a decade, and its captain commits suicide while exploring Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. In 1831, the ship begins its famous five-year voyage that results in the publication of Charles Darwin's "Origin of the Species."
May 11, 1998:
India begins a series of three nuclear weapons tests
, its first in 24 years. India's rival, Pakistan, is alarmed and responds with six nuclear blasts of its own by month's end.
May 11, 2010:
As oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon well, executives from the three responsible companies blame each other
in an appearance before a U.S. Congressional committee. BP, the well's owner, blames Transocean, the owner of the stricken rig. Then executives for Transocean and Halliburton, the contractor whose failed seal led to the blowout, blame BP.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons