KeikoJuly 16, 1945: The U.S. detonates an atomic bomb in the desert near Alamogordo, N.M., ushering in the Nuclear Age.

July 16, 1979: The Sierra, a "pirate" whaling ship operating outside of all regulations, is rammed in a Portuguese harbor by conservationists aboard the Sea Shepherd. Paul Watson, an early member of Greenpeace, had parted ways with the organization over its adherence to nonviolence in confronting whalers. The Fund for Animals purchases the Sea Shepherd for Watson.

July 16, 1993: "Free Willy" is released. The film about a boy and his whale is inspired by the true story of an orca whale kept in captivity in a Mexican amusement park. At right, an image of Keiko, the orca whale that portrayed Willy.

Photo: ZUMA Press

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