Song sparrowOct. 12, 1954: Hurricane Hazel begins its path of destruction, sweeping over western Haiti and killing between 400 and 1,000. Another 95 people perish in the U.S. as the storm makes landfall in North Carolina three days later. The storm continues inland and passes into Canada near Toronto. Flooding and high winds claim another 100 lives in Canada.

Oct. 12, 1983: The Santa Barbara song sparrow is officially declared extinct. Last seen in California’s Channel Islands in 1967, the birds are believed to have been wiped out when rabbits were introduced to the islands. At right, a song sparrow from San Francisco.

Oct. 12, 2007: Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are announced as the co-winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Photo: Will Elder/National Park Service

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