SharkJuly 12, 1817: Henry David Thoreau is born in Concord, Mass. His books, including "Walden" and "Cape Cod," are regarded as some of the 19th century’s best writing on our relationship with nature.

July 12, 1916: A summer of terror at the Jersey Shore: 12-year-old Lester Stillwell is taking a dip in Matawan Creek, several miles from the ocean in Central New Jersey, when he is pulled underwater and bitten in half by a shark. A week earlier, two other swimmers had bled to death along the Jersey Shore after shark attacks. Hours after Stillwell dies, a local shopkeeper, Stanley Fisher, is also attacked and bleeds to death on his way to the hospital.

July 12, 1993: A magnitude-7.3 earthquake hits Hokkaido, Japan, killing more than 200 people.

Photo: EPA

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