Starfish Prime explosionJuly 9, 1962: The United States explodes a 1.4-kiloton nuclear warhead on the fringes of outer space (at right). Code-named Starfish Prime, the detonation triggers an electromagnetic pulse that briefly disables communications in a wide area of the Pacific Ocean and causes power surges in Hawaii.

July 9, 1992: Prepping for the November election, candidate Bill Clinton picks Tennessee Sen. Al Gore as his running mate. Gore’s strong environmental profile draws supporters and attackers. Days before the election, President George H.W. Bush dubs him "Ozone Man."

July 9, 2009: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes the plugging of "Mr. GO." The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet was designed in 1956 as a flood control outlet and shipping shortcut from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico. But in 2005, Mr. GO became an expressway for the incoming storm surge waters from Hurricane Katrina, contributing to the destruction of New Orleans neighborhoods.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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