Owens ValleyMay 21, 1924: Armed with dynamite and construction gear, angry residents of California's Owens Valley (at right in 2009) destroy part of the diversion system that has nearly completely drained Owens Lake. The once-verdant desert valley is literally drying up, because an aqueduct built in 1913 is exporting Owens Lake to supply the growing water demands of Los Angeles.

May 21, 1950: A rare tornado strikes the London suburbs. Two people die as high winds and lightning destroy buildings and spark fires.

May 21, 2003: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman announces that she will resign in June, saying she would like to spend more time with her family. Years later, in a more candid moment, Whitman says she left after being regularly overruled by Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the Bush administration, whom she said "flipped the bird" to environmental issues.

Photo: morisius cosmonaut/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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