Vemork power plantMay 3, 1940: As part of the German Army's Blitzkrieg invasion, Nazi troops seize the heavy-water research facility — the world's first — in Vemork, Norway (at right). Vemork is a 30-year-old hydroelectric plant that produces enough power for future Nobel laureate Otto Hahn and colleagues to experiment with nuclear fission.

May 3, 1940:  David H. Koch is born in Wichita, Kansas.  With his older brother Charles, David builds Koch Industries into a fossil fuel powerhouse.  They donate much of their fortune to supporting the arts, medicine, the “Tea Party,” and organizations promoting climate denial.  David’s twin brother William, while estranged from the family business, also bankrolls groups opposing alternative energy.

May 3, 1990: Author Bill McKibben persuades 93 friends to record 24 hours of footage from every channel in the cable television system in Fairfax County in Virginia. He then commits to the harrowing task of watching all 24 hours from the 93 channels of game shows, televangelists, sitcom re-runs and more. After spending time on a solitary peak in the Adirondack Mountains, McKibben publishes "The Age of Missing Information," contrasting the two experiences.

May 3, 2010: BP CEO Tony Hayward says his company is "mounting a massive response" to the "tragic accident" in the Gulf of Mexico. He also commits the company to pay for all cleanup costs from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Photo: rimantux/Flickr

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