Three Mile Island
March 28, 1979 - It was at 4 AM on this day near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that the cooling system at Three Mile Island nuclear plant malfunctioned and caused a partial meltdown.
Dangerous levels of radioactive gas were released and the government called for an evacuation of pregnant women and children within 5 miles of the plant. It's estimated that as many as 100,000 people fled the area.
The partial meltdown was contained but the incident caused a backlash in public opinion against the nuclear power industry.