Hurricane AndrewAug. 24, 74 A.D.: A sudden eruption of Vesuvius, near the modern Italian city of Naples, buries the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Subsequent eruptions, and population growth of metropolitan Naples to roughly 3 million people, have maintained the status of Vesuvius as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

Aug. 24, 1982: A movie without a plot, but with a powerful message, is released. "Koyanisqaatsi" is the Hopi word for "Life out of balance." It features a driving soundtrack by Phillip Glass set against stop-motion and fast-motion film sequences of man’s interactions with nature.

Aug. 24, 1992: Hurricane Andrew (at right) tears through Homestead, Fla. The storm, which reached Category 5 status, rips through South Florida, enters the Gulf of Mexico, and makes a second landfall in Louisiana.

Photo: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons