Leatherback turtleJune 2, 1924: The U.S. Congress enacts the Indian Citizenship Act. After 300 years of conquest and genocide, the law hardly reflects momentous change, but perhaps a slight reversal of U.S. attitudes. Slight indeed. The law leaves the issues of voting rights for Native Americans to the individual states, and American Indians do not have a nationwide right to vote until 1957.

June 2, 1970: The leatherback (at right), a massive sea turtle known to migrate for thousands of miles, is declared an endangered species in the U.S. Leatherbacks can weigh up to 1 ton and measure 8 feet from head to tail — and are imperiled by habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear. The peregrine falcon and brown pelican are also listed, victims of contamination from the pesticide DDT, but both later recover.

June 2, 1990: An outbreak of 65 tornadoes tears through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. Several of the twisters reach F4 intensity, but the relatively low death toll of 18 is testimony to improved forecasting and warning systems for severe storms.

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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

June 2
The leatherback turtle is declared endangered, and 65 tornadoes tear through the Midwest.