Jeane KirkpatrickOct. 28, 1982: With the U.S. United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick (at right) casting the lone dissenting vote, the U.N. passes its "World Charter for Nature" by a vote of 111-1. The measure recognizes the "supreme importance of protecting natural systems, maintaining the balance and quality of nature and conserving natural resources, in the interests of present and future generations."

Oct. 28, 1985: A breakthrough is reached in the adventures of Humphrey, the humpback whale. The 40-foot male humpback entered San Francisco Bay in early October and ventured nearly 70 miles up the Sacramento River. Human volunteers bang on pipes to repel the whale away from fresh water, and underwater recordings of humpback whale songs lure Humphrey back to the sea.  

Oct. 28, 2009: A report from the Blacksmith Institute, which has gained fame in recent years for posting lists of "most polluted places," takes a different tack. The institute, teaming with Mikhail Gorbachev's Green Cross International, lists its 12 most successful environmental cleanups, including the world's retreat from chemical weapons and the phasing out of leaded gasoline.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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