USS JeannetteJune 11, 1881: Three years after departing San Francisco on a voyage of exploration to the North Pole, the USS Jeannette is crushed by Arctic ice and sinks. Backed by the U.S. government and bankrolled by newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett, the Jeannette gets trapped for 21 months before its ice-strengthened wood hull is crushed. Nineteen crewmembers died, while another 14 make a harrowing journey to safety in Siberia.

June 11, 1910: Jacques-Yves Cousteau is born in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, France. He was a French Navy diver who invented and developed key components for underwater breathing. His documentaries on the unknown world beneath the surface of the oceans won him worldwide acclaim.

June 11, 1966: A song paying tribute to a city's polluted waterways peaks at No. 11 on the U.S. pop charts. Four decades later, the Standells' "Dirty Water" is an anthem for Boston’s professional sports teams. All of the L.A.-based band's members grew up 3,000 miles away from the banks of the River Charles.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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