May 25, 1803: Ralph Waldo Emerson
is born in Boston. The lecturer and Unitarian minister's works include "Nature" in 1836. Emerson sells 500 copies of the book in six years, but later becomes a wildly popular lecturer.
May 25, 1900:
U.S. President William McKinley signs the Lacey Act
, one of the first sweeping wildlife protection laws. The act limits the interstate and international trafficking in fish, birds, mammals and plants.
May 25, 1971:
After 13 years of lobbying and planning, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway
(at right, in 2005) project is launched. U.S. President Richard M. Nixon attends the groundbreaking ceremony. The "Tenn-Tom" is a 234-mile barge canal that gives Tennessee River shippers a shortcut to the Gulf of Mexico. The project is criticized as a major environmental and engineering boondoggle. Six of its locks are named to honor its major Congressional backers.
May 25, 2012:
A newspaper with two Pulitzer Prizes for environmental reporting announces dramatic changes.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune will shrink its printed edition to three days a week and make major staffing cuts.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons