Dian FosseyJan. 16, 1932: Dian Fossey (at right) is born in San Francisco. Her pioneering research in mountain gorillas leads to a greater understanding of primates. Her fierce opposition to poaching is believed to be why she was murdered in her camp in Rwanda in 1985. Prominent nature writer Farley Mowat writes her biography, which later becomes the film "Gorillas in the Mist", starring Sigourney Weaver as Fossey.

Jan. 16, 1990: U.S. civil rights leaders allege that the staff and leadership of major U.S. environmental groups are almost exclusively white. Spokesmen for many of the eight named groups – Natural Resources Defense Council, Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, National Parks and Conservation Association, National Audubon Society and Isaak Walton League – agree that the groups’ diversity performance is "terrible" and "miserable."

Jan. 16, 1992: The Toyota Motor Company introduces the "Earth Charter," its pledge to produce the lowest-emissions vehicles possible. A decade later, Toyota seeks to corner the hybrid market with its Prius.

Jan. 16, 2011:  Relentless rainfall triggers mudslides causing at least 600 deaths in what is described as Brazil’s worst natural disaster in 40 years.

Jan. 16, 2011: Emily made a change

Photo: Network 355/Flickr

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

January 16
Dian Fossey is born and Toyota makes a commitment to being green.