Sept. 26, 1774: John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, is born in Leominster, Mass. He spent nearly half a century on what was then the American frontier of Ohio and Indiana, preaching religion and planting apple trees.

Sept. 26, 1997: Smoke and haze from massive wildfires are blamed for the crash of a Garuda Indonesia Airways flight from Jakarta to Medan. The fires, in turn, are blamed on drought associated with the El Niño weather phenomenon. Tens of thousands of acres of Indonesian rain forest are destroyed, wiping out large numbers of endangered orangutans.

Sept. 26, 2006: The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science publishes a paper by NASA climate scientist James Hansen stating that the Earth’s average temperature is now at its highest level in 12,000 years.

Photo: TroyMars/Flickr

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