Jan. 21, 1946: In his State of the Union address, U.S. President Harry S Truman outlines a massive engineering plan for American rivers: "The rivers of America offer a great opportunity to our generation in the management of the national wealth…..The scourge of floods and drought can be curbed, water can be brought to arid lands, navigation can be extended, and cheap power can be brought alike to the farms and to the industries of our land."

Concorde jet in 1973Jan. 21, 1968: A U.S. B-52 bomber crashes near Thule, Greenland, with four hydrogen bombs aboard. Six of the seven crewmembers survive, but one of the bombs is never found. It is believed to be beneath the ice.

Jan. 21, 1976: The Concorde supersonic plane (at right) makes its first passenger flight. The first commercial aircraft to fly faster than the speed of sound, the plane offers luxury, a steep ticket price, and a much shorter ride between the U.S. and Europe. The plane overcame environmental concerns that it provided additional threats to the Earth's ozone layer (true) and that its supersonic flights would cause massive bird kills (not true). It ceased operations in 2003.

Photo: Elise esq./Flickr

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

January 21
A U.S. president outlines goals for American rivers and the Concorde takes off.