EPA sealOct. 2, 1836: The HMS Beagle and its most famous passenger, Charles Darwin, arrive back in England after a five-year voyage to the Galapagos Islands.

Oct. 2, 1952: The United Kingdom joins the U.S. and the Soviet Union as the third nuclear nation as it detonates a plutonium bomb near Australia’s Monte Bello Islands.

Oct. 2, 1968: U.S. Congress approves the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, leading to the protection of thousands of miles of free-flowing wild rivers and streams.


Oct. 2, 1968: North Cascades National Park is created, protecting the mountain ecosystem and more than 100 glaciers in Washington state.

Oct. 2, 1970: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is founded, creating a centralized source of regulation and enforcement of environmental law.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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