Peak DistrictDec. 28, 1908:  The Sicilian city of Messina is partially destroyed by an earthquake and a 40-foot tsunami.   An estimated 70,000 people lose their lives.  The Italian mainland city of Reggio di Calabria also suffers heavy losses.

Dec. 28, 1950:  England gets its first National Park as the Peak District,  (at right) 555 square miles of hills and moors near Manchester, is designated.  There are now 15 National Parks in England, Scotland and Wales.

Dec. 28, 1973:  U.S. President Richard Nixon signs the Endangered Species Act.

Photo: DaveOnFlickr/Flickr

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