Polar bearMay 14, 1936: The Government of Ecuador establishes the forerunner of what becomes the Galapagos National Park. The islands, known for their biodiversity and for the studies of Charles Darwin become a haven for both science and ecotourism. The park's protected area is expanded in 1959.

May 14, 1998: Marjory Stoneman Douglas dies at age 108 in Miami. The tireless crusader for the Florida Everglades published the book "River of Grass" in 1947.

May 14, 2008: After more than a year"s deliberation, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne listed the polar bear (at right) as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

May 14, 2011: To lessen the flood risk to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chooses to steer floodwaters from the swollen Mississippi River toward farmland and rural communities. The Morganza Spillway is opened, putting much of Cajun country under several feet of water, but lowering water levels near Louisiana’s biggest cities.

Photo: Library of Congress

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