McDonald's in Des Plaines, IllinoisApril 15, 1907: In his Message to the School-Children of the United States, President Theodore Roosevelt says, "We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want, you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted."

April 15, 1955: The world's largest fast-food chain is born as Ray Kroc opens the first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines, Ill. (at right). There are more than 32,000 McDonald's franchises today, serving hamburgers and French fries by the ton and altering the world's food consumption and farming practices.

April 15, 1980: In a well-intentioned effort to pitch in on America's energy conservation efforts, the town of Winooski, Vt., explores the idea of placing itself inside an 880-acre dome. As you may have already concluded, this didn't happen.

April 15, 2011: The Atomic Energy Society of Japan reports that at least two of the six crippled reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichii complex north of Tokyo suffered partial meltdowns. The reactors, located north of Tokyo, survived a magnitude-9.0 earthquake on March 11 but were crippled by the massive tsunami that followed.

Photo: ChicagoGeek/Flickr

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