Christopher ColumbusOct. 14, 1492: In the days following his first landfall at San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, Christopher Columbus (at right) describes the inhabitants in his logbook: "They were very friendly toward us ... Weapons they have none, nor are acquainted with them, for I showed them swords which they grasped by the blades, and cut themselves through ignorance ... I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I pleased."

Oct. 14, 1983: General Electric and New York's State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) sign an agreement for GE to clean up its former factories at Hudson Falls and Fort Edwards, N.Y. PCB dumping at the two plants is blamed for polluting nearly the entire length of the Hudson River.

Oct. 14, 1994: Saguaro National Park is established in southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. The park protects desert wildlife and the tree-sized saguaro cactus.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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