Louisiana after Katrina's arrivalAug. 29, 1949: The Soviet Union detonates its first nuclear weapon in a test in Kazakhstan, and the nuclear arms race begins.

Aug. 29, 1995: Author Jonathan Harr releases the book "A Civil Action," documenting the pollution at a toxic waste site in Woburn, Mass. W.R. Grace Company and Beatrice Foods were sued for polluting the water supply in Woburn. Research linked the toxic site to a leukemia cluster and at least six deaths. The plaintiffs eventually won an $8 million settlement in the case. The book was made into a movie starring John Travolta in 1998.

Aug. 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall at dawn in southern Louisiana. At 8:14 a.m., the National Weather Service reports a levee break along the city’s Industrial Canal. Soon, there are reports of more than six feet of water in the streets of the Lower Ninth Ward. Two hours later, Katrina crosses the Mississippi Sound and makes landfall again at the Mississippi-Louisiana state line accompanied by a massive storm surge.

Photo: Jocelyn Augustino, FEMA/Wikimedia Commons

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