Shippingport ReactorMay 26, 1954: The U.S. Army completes construction at Fort Terry, on Plum Island near Long Island, N.Y. The fort is turned over to the U.S. Agriculture Department as its research center on anthrax and other animal diseases. For the next half-century, Plum Island is the source of controversy — and more than a few conspiracy-theory stories.

May 26, 1958: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the first American commercial nuclear power plant in Shippingport, Pa., (at right). Eisenhower, a big proponent of the "Peaceful Atom" program, had theatrically broken ground for the plant in 1954 by waving a "magic wand" from a TV studio in Denver. Shippingport went online in December 1957 and operated for 24 years.

May 26, 2007: An international agreement outlaws trawling in about 25 percent of the deep sea areas of the ocean. Bottom trawlers had been inflicting widespread damage to corals and other marine life.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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