Ship in the St. Lawrence SeawayJune 26, 1954: A "seiche" — an unusually large wave in an enclosed body of water — rolls across Lake Michigan following a fast-moving cold front and thunderstorms. The seiche first moves away from Chicago, lowering water levels while those levels rise across the lake in western Michigan. The wave then sloshes back to the west, sweeping eight fishermen on Chicago's Montrose Harbor Pier to their deaths.

June 26, 1959: Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower dedicate the St. Lawrence Seaway, easing shipping between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. The global commerce also brings invader species like the sea lamprey and zebra mussel to the lakes, forever changing their ecology. At right, a ship moves through the seaway.

June 26, 2004: An abrupt shift in winds brings dense, choking smoke to Fairbanks, Alaska, during the worst fire season in the state's history. Dry weather and an unusually busy lightning season are blamed for more than 1,000 wildfires and the burning of more than 6 million acres.

Photo: kun0me/Flickr

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