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On this day, the daily facts thread

zorro Jul 15, 2014

  1. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1960, Adolph Coors disappears while driving to work from his Morrison, Colorado, home. The grandson of the Coors’ founder and chairman of the Golden, Colorado, brewery was kidnapped and held for ransom before being shot to death. Surrounding evidence launched one of the FBI’s largest manhunts: the search for Joe Corbett.
    :beerwink:

    On this day in 2001, a United States military submarine collides with a Japanese fishing boat in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing four students and five other people. The USS Greenville was hosting a cruise for VIPs at the time, some of whom were actually at the controls of the sub when the collision occurred.
    :facepalm:

    On this day in 1825, as no presidential candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the election of 1824, the U.S. House of Representatives votes to elect John Quincy Adams, who won fewer votes than Andrew Jackson in the popular election, as president of the United States. Adams was the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States.
    :irdaking:

    On this day in 1942, the Normandie, regarded by many as the most elegant ocean liner ever built, burns and sinks in New York Harbor during its conversion to an Allied trip transport ship.
    Built in France in the early 1930s, the Normandie ruled the transatlantic passenger trade in its day. The first major liner to cross the Atlantic in less than four days, its masterful engineering was only surpassed by its design excellence. The 1,000-foot ship’s distinctive clipper-ship bow was immediately recognizable, and its elaborate architecture and decorations popularized the Moderne style. After the American entrance into World War II, it was seized by the U.S. Navy for the Allied war effort and renamed the U.S.S. Lafayette. However, on February 9, 1942–just days before it was to be completed for trooping–a welder accidentally set fire to a pile of flammable life preservers with his torch, and by early the next morning the ship lay capsized in the harbor, a gutted wreck. It was later towed south to New Jersey and scrapped.
    :cutting_torch:

    On this day in 1964, on a Sunday night, at approximately 8:12 p.m. Eastern time, The Ed Sullivan Show returned from a commercial (for Anacin pain reliever), and there was Ed Sullivan standing before a restless crowd. He tried to begin his next introduction, but then stopped and extended his arms in the universal sign for “Settle Down.” “Quiet!” he said with mock gravity, and the noise died down just a little. Then he resumed: “Here’s a very amusing magician we saw in Europe and signed last summer…. Let’s have a nice hand for him—Fred Kaps!”
    For the record, Fred Kaps proceeded to be quite charming and funny over the next five minutes. In fact, Fred Kaps is revered to this day by magicians around the world as the only three-time Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques Grand Prix winner. But Fred Kaps had the horrific bad luck on this day to be the guest that followed the Beatles on Ed Sullivan—possibly the hardest act to follow in the history of show business.
    It is estimated that 73 million Americans were watching that night as the Beatles made their live U.S. television debut. Roughly eight minutes before Fred Kaps took the stage, Sullivan gave his now-famous intro, “Ladies and gentlemen… the Beatles!” and after a few seconds of rapturous cheering from the audience, the band kicked into “All My Lovin’.” Fifty seconds in, the first audience-reaction shot of the performance shows a teenage girl beaming and possibly hyperventilating. Two minutes later, Paul is singing another pretty, mid-tempo number: “Til There Was You,” from the Broadway musical Music Man. There’s screaming at the end of every phrase in the lyrics, of course, but to view the broadcast today, it seems driven more by anticipation than by the relatively low-key performance itself. And then came “She Loves You,” and the place seems to explode. What followed was perhaps the most important two minutes and 16 seconds of music ever broadcast on American television—a sequence that still sends chills down the spine almost half a century later.
    The Beatles would return later in the show to perform “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as the audience remained at the same fever pitch it had reached during “She Loves You.” This time it was Wells & the Four Fays, a troupe of comic acrobats, who had to suffer what Fred Kaps had after the Beatles’ first set. Perhaps the only non-Beatle on Sullivan’s stage that night who did not consider the evening a total loss was the young man from the Broadway cast of Oliver! who sang “I’d Do Anything” as the Artful Dodger midway through the show. His name was Davy Jones, and less than three years later, he’d star in a TV show of his own that owed a rather significant debt to the hysteria that began on this night in 1964: The Monkees.
    :band2:

    On this day in 1965, a U.S. Marine Corps Hawk air defense missile battalion is deployed to Da Nang. President Johnson had ordered this deployment to provide protection for the key U.S. airbase there.
    This was the first commitment of American combat troops in South Vietnam and there was considerable reaction around the world to the new stage of U.S. involvement in the war.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1992, after stunning the world three months earlier with the news he had contracted the HIV virus and was immediately retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers, basketball great Magic Johnson returns to play in the 42nd NBA All-Star game in Orlando, Florida, where the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1971, pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige becomes the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame. In August of that year, Paige, a pitching legend known for his fastball, showmanship and the longevity of his playing career, which spanned five decades, was inducted. Joe DiMaggio once called Paige “the best and fastest pitcher I’ve ever faced.”
    :goodjob:
     
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  2. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1962, Francis Gary Powers, an American who was shot down over the Soviet Union while flying a CIA spy plane in 1960, is released by the Soviets in exchange for the U.S. release of a Russian spy. The exchange concluded one of the most dramatic episodes of the Cold War.
    :ftrade:

    On this day in 1970, an avalanche crashes down on a ski resort in Val d’Isere, France, killing 42 people, mostly young skiers. This disaster was the worst such incident in French history.
    :snow:

    It was one of those events that virtually nobody witnessed, yet many wish they had: the concert at London’s Toby Jug pub on February 10, 1972, when the relatively minor rocker named David Bowie became the spaceman Ziggy Stardust. While it might be said of many such historic moments—like John meeting Paul at a backyard birthday party, or Elvis ad-libbing “That’s All Right (Mama)” between takes at Sun Studios—that their significance became clear only in hindsight, there was at least one man who knew exactly where Ziggy’s earthly debut would lead: David Bowie himself.
    [​IMG]

    In 1846, with their leader assassinated and their homes under attack, the Mormons of Nauvoo, Illinois, begin a long westward migration that eventually brings them to the valley of the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
    :gtfokax:

    On this day in 1965, Viet Cong guerrillas blow up the U.S. barracks at Qui Nhon, 75 miles east of Pleiku on the central coast, with a 100-pound explosive charge under the building. A total of 23 U.S. personnel were killed, as well as two Viet Cong. In response to the attack, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a retaliatory air strike operation on North Vietnam called Flaming Dart II.
    [​IMG]

    In 1971, four journalists, including photographer Larry Burrows of Life magazine, Kent Potter of United Press International, Nenri Huett of the Associated Press, and Keisaburo Shimamoto of Newsweek, die in a South Vietnamese helicopter operating in Laos. The journalists had been covering Operation Lam Son 719, a limited attack into Laos by South Vietnamese forces, when their helicopter crashed.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1992, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, accused of raping 18-year-old beauty-pageant contestant Desiree Washington, is found guilty by an Indiana jury. The following month, Tyson was given a 10-year prison sentence, with four years suspended.
    :mugshot:

    On this day in 1996, after three hours, world chess champion Garry Kasparov loses the first game of a six-game match against Deep Blue, an IBM computer capable of evaluating 200 million moves per second. Man was ultimately victorious over machine, however, as Kasparov bested Deep Blue in the match with three wins and two ties and took home the $400,000 prize. An estimated 6 million people worldwide followed the action on the Internet.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1916, Emma Goldman, a crusader for women’s rights and social justice, is arrested in New York City for lecturing and distributing materials about birth control. She was accused of violating the Comstock Act of 1873, which made it a federal offense to disseminate contraceptive devices and information through the mail or across state lines. In addition to advocating for women’s reproductive rights, Goldman, who was later convicted and spent time in jail, was a champion of numerous controversial causes and ideas, including anarchism, free speech and atheism. Nicknamed “Red Emma,” the forward-thinking Goldman was arrested multiple times for her activist activities.
    :cf::nono:

    On this day in 1952, a series of deadly avalanches begins across central Europe.
    A storm stalled over the middle of Europe the first week of February 1952, dumping a couple of feet of snow in parts of France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In many places, activity came to a standstill. Thousands of people and their shovels were recruited in German towns to make the streets passable. In France, several people died when their roofs collapsed under the weight of the accumulated snow.
    The worst of the 10-day snowstorm was felt in Austria, where avalanches took a deadly toll. At a ski resort in Melkoede, 50 people were sleeping in the early morning hours of February 11 when a huge mass of snow suddenly crashed down the mountain above them. Twenty people, almost all German tourists, were killed at the resort and another 10 were seriously injured. In Switzerland and Austria, authorities issued warnings about potential avalanches and some villages were evacuated.
    Unfortunately, the following day brought more damaging avalanches. In Isenthal, Switzerland, hundreds of cattle and several barns were buried by snow. In Leutasche, Austria, a 12-year-old child was rescued by people who risked their lives digging while another avalanche was poised to fall. Seven of the child’s family members were killed.
    Overall, it is estimated that 78 people died across Europe from the snowstorm and resulting avalanches.
    :snow:

    On this day in 1858, in southern France, Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, a 14-year-old French peasant girl, first claims to have seen the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and a central figure in the Roman Catholic religion. The apparitions, which totaled 18 before the end of the year, occurred in a grotto of a rock promontory near Lourdes, France. Marie explained that the Virgin Mary revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception, asked that a chapel be built on the site of the vision, and told the girl to drink from a fountain in the grotto, which Marie subsequently discovered by digging into the earth.
    The sight of her manifestations subsequently became the most famous modern shrine of the Virgin Mary, and in 1933 Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was canonized as St. Bernadette by the Roman Catholic Church. Today, millions travel to Lourdes every year to visit St. Bernadette’s grotto, whose waters supposedly have curative powers.
    True healing "waters".... :vodkadispenser:

    On this day in 1970, from the Kagoshima Space Center on the east coast of Japan’s Ohsumi Peninsula, Ohsumi, Japan’s first satellite, is successfully launched into an orbit around Earth. The achievement made Japan the world’s fourth space power, after the Soviet Union in 1957, the United States in 1958, and France in 1965.
    Two months after Japan’s launching of Ohsumi, China became the world’s fifth space power when it successfully launched Mao 1 into space. The satellite, named after Mao Zedong, the leader of communist China, orbited Earth broadcasting the Chinese patriotic song The East Is Red once a minute.
    :weownthat:

    On this day in 1778, some 300 people visit Voltaire following his return to Paris. Voltaire had been in exile for 28 years.
    :grouphug:

    On this day in 1962, nine U.S. and South Vietnamese crewmen are killed in a SC-47 crash about 70 miles north of Saigon.
    The aircraft was part of Operation Farm Gate, a mission that had initially been designed to provide advisory support in assisting the South Vietnamese Air Force to increase its capability. In December, President John F. Kennedy expanded the Farm Gate mission to include limited combat missions by the U.S. Air Force pilots in support of South Vietnamese ground forces–the downed aircraft was part of this expanded effort.
    :sosad:

    On this day in 1990, in a major upset, Buster Douglas defeats Mike Tyson, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, in 10 rounds at a boxing match in Tokyo, Japan.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 2002, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic goes on trial at The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide and war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo. Milosevic served as his own attorney for much of the prolonged trial, which ended without a verdict when the so-called “Butcher of the Balkans” was found dead at age 64 from an apparent heart attack in his prison cell on March 11, 2006.
    :mugshot:

    In 1988, two Soviet warships bump two U.S. navy vessels in waters claimed by the Soviet Union. The incident was an indication that even though the Cold War was slowly coming to a close, old tensions and animosities remained unabated.
    The incident between the ships took place in the Black Sea, off the Crimean peninsula. The American destroyer Caron and cruiser Yorktown were operating within the 12-mile territorial limit claimed by the Soviet Union. They were challenged by a Soviet frigate and destroyer and told to leave the waters. Then, according to a Navy spokesman, the Soviet ships “shouldered” the U.S. ships out of the way, bumping them slightly. There was no exchange of gunfire, and the American ships eventually departed from the area. There was no serious damage to either U.S. vessel or any injuries.
    In many ways, the incident was an unnecessarily provocative action by the United States. For many years, the United States had challenged the Russian claim of a 12-mile territorial limit in the waters off the Crimean peninsula. However, the timing and the use of the Caron in this particular operation made this a rather foolish act. The United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in negotiations to limit long-range nuclear weapons, and in December 1987, the important INF Treaty, by which both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to eliminate their medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe, had been signed. The Caron was well known as an intelligence gathering vessel and its appearance in waters claimed by the Soviets would be seen as suspicious at best. For their part, the Soviets probably overreacted. American ships regularly moved through the area and were usually unchallenged. Perhaps the Soviet military felt a message should be sent that Russia, which was experiencing severe economic and political problems, was still a nation to be taken seriously as a major military power.
    :shipwrecked:

    In 1976, actor Sal Mineo is stabbed to death in Hollywood, California. Mineo was parking his car behind his apartment when neighbors heard his cries for help. Some described a white man with brown hair fleeing the scene. By the time they reached Mineo, he was almost dead from a deep wound to his chest. He died minutes later.
    For two years, the police searched in vain for clues to the killer’s identity. At first, they suspected that Mineo’s work for prison reform had put him in contact with a dangerous ex-con. Then their focus shifted to Mineo’s personal life. Investigators had discovered that his home was filled with pictures of nude men. But the homosexual pornography also failed to turn up any leads.
    Then, out of the blue, Michigan authorities reported that Lionel Williams, arrested on bad check charges, was bragging to everyone that he had killed Mineo. Although he later retracted his stories, at about the same time, his wife back in Los Angeles told police that he had come home the night of the murder drenched in blood. However, there was one major discrepancy–Williams was black with an afro and all of the eyewitnesses had described the perpetrator as a white man with long brown hair.
    Fortunately, the police were able to unearth an old photo of Williams in which his hair had been dyed brown and processed so that it was straight and long. In addition, the medical examiner had made a cast of Mineo’s knife wound and police were able to match it to the description of the knife provided by Williams’ wife. Lionel Williams was convicted and given a sentence of life in prison.
    :knifeslash:

    On this day in 2002, an Iranian passenger jet crashes into the side of a mountain, killing all 117 people on board.
    Iran Air Tours, a subsidiary of Iran Air, scheduled the Russian-built Tupolev 154 jet to leave Tehran, Iran’s capital city, at 6:30 a.m. It was to be a short flight to Khorramabad, about 200 miles to the southwest, and there was nothing remarkable about the flight until the plane began approaching Khorramabad. Suddenly, the plane dropped off the air-traffic controllers’ radar screens. Witnesses from the village of Sarab-Doreh saw a huge explosion as the plane crashed straight into the snow-covered White Mountain.
    The crash site was so difficult to access that only experienced mountain climbers could be enlisted to help with the rescue. By the time they reached the scattered pieces of the plane, they found only the remains of the 117 people on board. Among the dead were four Iranian government officials and four Spanish businessmen.
    Although many Iranians are said to have blamed the use of a Russian-made jet for the disaster, the Tupolev-154 jet is, in fact, the mainstay of the Russian air fleet. Approximately 1,000 of the jets have been produced in its lifetime and only 28 have been lost to crashes. This compares favorably with the record of Boeing (the manufacturer used by Iran before the 1979 revolution), which had lost 68 of the 1,500 727s produced before 2002. Furthermore, most of the Tupolev-154 crashes were not due to technical failure. In this disaster, the cause of the crash has never been identified, although there is speculation that heavy fog may have played a role.
    :aviator:

    On February 12, 1912, Hsian-T’ung, the last emperor of China, is forced to abdicate following Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolution. A provisional government was established in his place, ending 267 years of Manchu rule in China and 2,000 years of imperial rule. The former emperor, only six years old, was allowed to keep up his residence in Beijing’s Forbidden City, and he took the name of Henry Pu Yi.
    [​IMG]

    In 1972, about 6,000 Cambodian troops launch a major operation to wrestle the religious center of Angkor Wat from 4,000 North Vietnamese troops entrenched around the famous Buddhist temple complex, which had been seized in June 1970. Fighting continued throughout the month. Even with the addition of 4,000 more troops, the Cambodians were unsuccessful, and eventually abandoned their efforts to expel the North Vietnamese.
    :surrender:

    On this day in 1973, the release of U.S. POWs begins in Hanoi as part of the Paris peace settlement. The return of U.S. POWs began when North Vietnam released 142 of 591 U.S. prisoners at Hanoi’s Gia Lam Airport. Part of what was called Operation Homecoming, the first 20 POWs arrived to a hero’s welcome at Travis Air Force Base in California on February 14. Operation Homecoming was completed on March 29, 1973, when the last of 591 U.S. prisoners were released and returned to the United States.
    :yaysmiles:

    In 1934, Bill Russell, the legendary center for the Boston Celtics during the 1960s, is born in Monroe, Louisiana. During his 13-year career with the Celtics, Russell helped the team to 11 NBA championships.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1633, Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo officially faced the Roman Inquisition in April of that same year and agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. Put under house arrest indefinitely by Pope Urban VIII, Galileo spent the rest of his days at his villa in Arcetri, near Florence, before dying on January 8, 1642.
    :sunshining:

    On this day in 1983, 74 people are killed when a fire blazes through a cinema in Turin, Italy.
    The Statuto Cinema in Turin had a capacity of just over 1,000 people on two levels, though the show on Sunday, February 13, was not nearly full. A fire began on the ground floor and quickly set several seats ablaze. To make matters worse, the seats had plastic covers that produced toxic smoke when they caught fire. The crowd panicked and ran toward the exits, causing a stampede in which several people were crushed to death.
    Firefighters responded quickly to the theater but found that the rear emergency exits were locked. They were forced to break through them with axes and immediately found the bodies of several people who had died while trying in vain to escape. The firefighters were able to get the fire under control before it spread to the upper floor and balcony. On the first level, they found 37 people who had been killed by burns, smoke inhalation or injuries from the stampede. The firefighters, keeping on their masks to protect them from the toxic smoke, then proceeded up to the second floor. There, they found another 37 people, many in a bathroom, who had perished from smoke inhalation. Virtually everyone who was on the second floor when the fire started died.
    A subsequent investigation found a few possible causes for the fire: a cigarette, faulty electrical wiring or a firecracker. (Fireworks were a common way to celebrate the approaching Shrove Tuesday holiday at the time.) The investigation also revealed that the cinema managers had locked the rear doors to prevent people from sneaking in without paying.
    Laws were subsequently passed banning the use of plastic seat covers that produce toxic smoke.
    :panic1:

    On this day in 1861, the earliest military action to be revered with a Medal of Honor award is performed by Colonel Bernard J.D. Irwin, an assistant army surgeon serving in the first major U.S.-Apache conflict. Near Apache Pass, in southeastern Arizona, Irwin, an Irish-born doctor, volunteered to go to the rescue of Second Lieutenant George N. Bascom, who was trapped with 60 men of the U.S. Seventh Infantry by the Chiricahua Apaches. Irwin and 14 men, initially without horses, began the 100-mile trek to Bascom’s forces riding on mules. After fighting and capturing Apaches along the way and recovering stolen horses and cattle, they reached Bascom’s forces on February 14 and proved instrumental in breaking the siege.
    The first U.S.-Apache conflict had begun several days before, when Cochise, the Chiricahua Apache chief, kidnapped three white men to exchange for his brother and two nephews held by the U.S. Army on false charges of stealing cattle and kidnapping a child. When the exchange was refused, Cochise killed the white men, and the army responded by killing his relatives, setting off the first of the Apache wars.
    Although Irwin’s bravery in this conflict was the earliest Medal of Honor action, the award itself was not created until 1862, and it was not until January 21, 1894, that Irwin received the nation’s highest military honor.
    [​IMG]

    On the evening of February 13, 1945, the most controversial episode in the Allied air war against Germany begins as hundreds of British bombers loaded with incendiaries and high-explosive bombs descend on Dresden, a historic city located in eastern Germany. Dresden was neither a war production city nor a major industrial center, and before the massive air raid of February 1945 it had not suffered a major Allied attack. By February 15, the city was a smoldering ruin and an unknown number of civilians–somewhere between 35,000 and 135,000–were dead.
    Because there were an unknown number of refugees in Dresden at the time of the Allied attack, it is impossible to know exactly how many civilians perished. After the war, investigators from various countries, and with varying political motives, calculated the number of civilians killed to be as little as 8,000 to more than 200,000. Estimates today range from 35,000 to 135,000. Looking at photographs of Dresden after the attack, in which the few buildings still standing are completely gutted, it seems improbable that only 35,000 of the million or so people in Dresden that night were killed. Cellars and other shelters would have been meager protection against a firestorm that blew poisonous air heated to hundreds of degrees Fahrenheit across the city at hurricane-like speeds.
    At the end of the war, Dresden was so badly damaged that the city was basically leveled. A handful of historic buildings–the Zwinger Palace, the Dresden State Opera House, and several fine churches–were carefully reconstructed out of the rubble, but the rest of the city was rebuilt with plain modern buildings. American author Kurt Vonnegut, who was a prisoner of war in Dresden during the Allied attack and tackled the controversial event in his book Slaughterhouse-Five, said of postwar Dresden, “It looked a lot like Dayton, Ohio, more open spaces than Dayton has. There must be tons of human bone meal in the ground.”
    :panic::sosad:

    On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson decides to undertake the sustained bombing of North Vietnam that he and his advisers have been contemplating for a year.
    Called Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing campaign was designed to interdict North Vietnamese transportation routes in the southern part of North Vietnam and slow infiltration of personnel and supplies into South Vietnam. The first Rolling Thunder mission took place on March 2, 1965, when 100 U.S. Air Force and Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) planes struck the Xom Bang ammunition dump 100 miles southeast of Hanoi.
    From 1965 to 1968, about 643,000 tons of bombs were dropped on North Vietnam, and a total of nearly 900 U.S. aircraft were lost during Operation Rolling Thunder. The operation continued, with occasional suspensions, until President Johnson, under increasing domestic political pressure, halted it on October 31, 1968.
    [​IMG]

    In 1968, as an emergency measure in response to the communist Tet Offensive, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara approves the deployment of 10,500 troops to cope with threats of a second offensive. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had argued against dispatching any reinforcements at the time because it would seriously deplete the strategic reserve, immediately sent McNamara a memorandum asking that 46,300 reservists and former servicemen be activated. Not wanting to test public opinion on what would no doubt be a controversial move, Johnson consigned the issue of the reservists to “study.” Ultimately, he decided against a large-scale activation of the reserve forces.
    :irsmart:

    Austrian ski racer Hermann Maier” makes one of the most dramatic crashes in skiing history when he catapults 30 feet in the air, lands on his helmet and rams through two safety fences at an estimated 80 miles per hour on February 13, 1998. Amazingly, Maier suffered just minor injuries and walked away from the crash. Several days later, he won gold medals in the giant slalom and super-G events.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. desmodus

    desmodus puta de corazón frío Lady Devil JDBA Official Member Super Moderator Brigade Member

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  7. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On February 14 around the year 269 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed.
    Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.
    To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.
    When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 269.
    Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.”
    For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death.
    In truth, the exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are unclear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February.” One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy) and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.
    Legends vary on how the martyr’s name became connected with romance. The date of his death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. On these occasions, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine’s Day.
    Gradually, February 14 became a date for exchanging love messages, poems and simple gifts such as flowers.
    Or, .45 slugs! :heartsmile:

    On this day in 1929, four men dressed as police officers enter gangster Bugs Moran’s headquarters on North Clark Street in Chicago, line seven of Moran’s henchmen against a wall, and shoot them to death. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, as it is now called, was the culmination of a gang war between arch rivals Al Capone and Bugs Moran.
    :alcapone:

    Sir Alexander Fleming was a young bacteriologist when an accidental discovery led to one of the great developments of modern medicine. Having left a plate of Staphylococcus bacteria uncovered, Fleming noticed that a mold that had fallen on the culture had killed many of the bacteria. He identified the mold as Penicillium notatum, similar to the kind found on bread. On February 14, 1929, Fleming introduced his mold by-product called penicillin to cure bacterial infections.
    And mom said to NOT eat the moldy bread! [​IMG]

    In 1886, destined to become one of the state’s major exports, the first trainload of oranges grown by southern California farmers leaves Los Angeles via the transcontinental railroad.
    :trainwreck:

    On this day in 2000, a series of tornadoes moves through southern Georgia, wreaking havoc and killing 18 people.
    The storm system that swept across the southeastern United States on February 14 was highly unusual. Tornadoes in the United States typically strike on spring afternoons because they are generated by collisions of warm and cold air. Winter tornadoes are quite rare.
    In this case, the tornadoes began to form in the early morning hours of February 14 in Colquitt, Tift, Mitchell and Grady counties in Georgia. These rural counties, located about 200 miles south of Atlanta, reported at least five major twisters. The most intense was an F3 tornado with winds in excess of 158 miles per hour that struck the town of Camilla. It blasted through a housing development and destroyed 200 mobile homes.
    Despite the fact that the area’s warning system worked, the tornadoes caught most people by surprise because they were sleeping at the time the warnings were issued over radio and television. A siren went off in Mitchell County, but it couldn’t be heard in the area that was struck by the tornado. In all, 18 people lost their lives, 200 were seriously injured and more than 350 homes were destroyed. In addition, many pecan orchards were wiped out, contributing to damages in excess of $25 million.
    :twister::twister::twister::twister::twister:

    On this day in 1943, German General Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps launch an offensive against an Allied defensive line in Tunisia, North Africa. The Kasserine Pass was the site of the United States’ first major battle defeat of the war.
    General Erwin Rommel was dispatched to North Africa in February 1942, along with the new Afrika Korps, to prevent his Italian Axis partner from losing its territorial gains in the region to the British. Despite his skill, until this point Rommel had been unable to do much more than manage his own forces’ retreats, but the Battle of Kasserine Pass would finally display the “Desert Fox’s” strategic genius.
    In the Battle of El Alamein in August 1942, British General Bernard Montgomery pushed Rommel out of Egypt and into Tunisia, behind the Mareth Line, a defensive fortification built by Vichy French forces. After taking several months to regroup, Rommel decided on a bold move. Rommel set his sites of Tunis, Tunisia’s capital and a key strategic goal for both Allied and Axis forces. Rommel determined that the weakest point in the Allied defensive line was at the Kasserine Pass, a 2-mile-wide gap in Tunisia’s Dorsal Mountains, which was defended by American troops. His first strike was repulsed, but with tank reinforcements, Rommel broke through on February 20, inflicting devastating casualties on the U.S. forces. The Americans withdrew from their position, leaving behind most of their equipment. More than 1,000 American soldiers were killed by Rommel’s offensive, and hundreds were taken prisoner. The United States had finally tasted defeat in battle.
    :surrender:

    In 1962, President John F. Kennedy authorizes U.S. military advisors in Vietnam to return fire if fired upon. At a news conference, he said, “The training missions we have [in South Vietnam] have been instructed that if they are fired upon, they are of course to fire back, but we have not sent combat troops in [the] generally understood sense of the word.” In effect, Kennedy was acknowledging that U.S. forces were involved in the fighting, but he wished to downplay any appearance of increased American involvement in the war. The next day former Vice President Nixon expressed hopes that President Kennedy would “step up the build-up and under no circumstances curtail it because of possible criticism.”
    [​IMG]
    On February 14, 1988, U.S. speed skater Dan Jansen, a favorite to win the gold medal in the 500-meter race at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, falls during competition, only hours after learning his sister had died of cancer. Jansen suffered disappointment after disappointment in the Olympics, earning him a reputation as “the heartbreak kid,” before he finally captured an Olympic gold medal in 1994.
    :sosad:
     
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    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1898, a massive explosion of unknown origin sinks the battleship USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor, killing 260 of the fewer than 400 American crew members aboard.
    One of the first American battleships, the Maine weighed more than 6,000 tons and was built at a cost of more than $2 million. Ostensibly on a friendly visit, the Maine had been sent to Cuba to protect the interests of Americans there after a rebellion against Spanish rule broke out in Havana in January.
    An official U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry ruled in March that the ship was blown up by a mine, without directly placing the blame on Spain. Much of Congress and a majority of the American public expressed little doubt that Spain was responsible and called for a declaration of war.
    Subsequent diplomatic failures to resolve the Maine matter, coupled with United States indignation over Spain’s brutal suppression of the Cuban rebellion and continued losses to American investment, led to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in April 1898.
    Within three months, the United States had decisively defeated Spanish forces on land and sea, and in August an armistice halted the fighting. On December 12, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed between the United States and Spain, officially ending the Spanish-American War and granting the United States its first overseas empire with the ceding of such former Spanish possessions as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.
    In 1976, a team of American naval investigators concluded that the Maine explosion was likely caused by a fire that ignited its ammunition stocks, not by a Spanish mine or act of sabotage.
    :shipwrecked:

    On this day in 1933, Giuseppe Zangara shoots Anton Cermak, the mayor of Chicago, in Miami, Florida. Zangara’s shots missed President-elect Franklin Roosevelt, who was with Cermak at the time. Cermak was seriously wounded and died on March 6.
    Immediately after Mayor Cermak died from the gunshot wounds, Zangara was indicted and arraigned for murder. He pled guilty and died in the electric chair on March 20, only two weeks after Cermak died. Today such a swift outcome would be practically unheard of, particularly where the death penalty is concerned.
    Changes began in the 1950s. In the most notable case, Caryl Chessman spent almost 12 years on California’s death row before going to the gas chamber in 1960 for kidnapping. His appeals kept him alive while he wrote three published books and caught the attention of Hollywood and the international community, who lobbied publicly on his behalf. The Chessman battle did more than any other case to politicize the death penalty; some credit it with bringing Ronald Reagan (who fiercely opposed commuting Chessman’s sentence) to office as California’s governor. Chessman was one of the last Americans to be executed for committing a crime other than murder.
    Such cases have become commonplace in modern times. Jerry Joe Bird met his demise through a lethal injection in Texas in 1991, after 17 years on death row. In 1999, two inmates who had been on death row for 20 years appealed to the Supreme Court that the long delay itself was cruel and unusual punishment. The Court declined to hear their appeal, ruling that the prisoners had caused the delay themselves.
    :thechair:

    On this day in 1965, in accordance with a formal proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II of England, a new Canadian national flag is raised above Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
    Beginning in 1610, Lower Canada, a new British colony, flew Great Britain’s Union Jack, or Royal Union Flag. In 1763, as a result of the French and Indian Wars, France lost its sizable colonial possessions in Canada, and the Union Jack flew all across the wide territory of Canada. In 1867, the Dominion of Canada was established as a self-governing federation within the British Empire, and three years later a new flag, the Canadian Red Ensign, was adopted. The Red Ensign was a solid red flag with the Union Jack occupying the upper-left corner and a crest situated in the right portion of the flag.
    The search for a new national flag that would better represent an independent Canada began in earnest in 1925 when a committee of the Privy Council began to investigate possible designs. Later, in 1946, a select parliamentary committee was appointed with a similar mandate and examined more than 2,600 submissions. Agreement on a new design was not reached, and it was not until the 1960s, with the centennial of Canadian self-rule approaching, that the Canadian Parliament intensified its efforts to choose a new flag.
    In December 1964, Parliament voted to adopt a new design. Canada’s national flag was to be red and white, the official colors of Canada as decided by King George V of Britain in 1921, with a stylized 11-point red maple leaf in its center. Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed February 15, 1965, as the day on which the new flag would be raised over Parliament Hill and adopted by all Canadians.
    Today, Canada’s red maple leaf flag is one of the most recognizable national flags in the world.
    :canadianpride:

    On this day in 1903, toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window, advertising them as Teddy bears. Michtom had earlier petitioned President Theodore Roosevelt for permission to use his nickname, Teddy. The president agreed and, before long, other toy manufacturers began turning out copies of Michtom’s stuffed bears, which soon became a national childhood institution.
    One of Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting expeditions provided the inspiration for the Teddy bear. Ironically, though he was an avid conservationist, Roosevelt-led hunting trips often resulted in excessive slaughter, including one African trip during which his party killed more than 6,000 animals for sport and trophies. However, the idea for the teddy bear likely arose out of one of Roosevelt’s more compassionate acts.
    Reports differ as to the exact details of the inspiration behind the teddy bear, but it is thought that while hunting in Mississippi in 1902, Roosevelt came upon an old injured black bear that his guides had tied to a tree. (The age, sex and state of health of the bear remain contested.) While some reports claim Roosevelt shot the bear out of pity for his suffering, others insist he set the bear free. Political cartoonists later portrayed the bear as a cub, implying that under the tough, outdoorsy and macho image of Roosevelt lay a much softer, more sensitive interior.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1961, the entire 18-member U.S. figure skating team is killed in a plane crash in Berg-Kampenhout, Belgium. The team was on its way to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
    :sosad:

    On this day in 1998, after 20 years of trying, racing great Dale Earnhardt Sr. finally wins his first Daytona 500, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season opener and an event dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.” Driving his black No. 3 Chevrolet, Earnhardt recorded an average speed of 172.712 mph and took home a then-record more than $1 million in prize money. Following his victory, crews from competing teams lined the pit road at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, to congratulate Earnhardt, who drove his car onto the grass and did several celebratory doughnuts, or circles.
    :shift:
     
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  9. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1923, in Thebes, Egypt, English archaeologist Howard Carter enters the sealed burial chamber of the ancient Egyptian ruler King Tutankhamen.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1894, infamous gunslinger John Wesley Hardin is pardoned after spending 15 years in a Texas prison for murder. Hardin, who was reputed to have shot and killed a man just for snoring, was 41 years old at the time of his release.
    :twinshots:

    Brush fires rage across South Australia on this day in 1983, burning thousands of acres, killing 75 people and injuring another 800. There were 24 major fires in total across the region, in addition to scores of smaller ones.
    :panic:

    In 1804, during the First Barbary War, U.S. Lieutenant Stephen Decatur leads a military mission that famed British Admiral Horatio Nelson calls the “most daring act of the age.”
    In June 1801, President Thomas Jefferson ordered U.S. Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea in protest of continuing raids against U.S. ships by pirates from the Barbary states–Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania. American sailors were often abducted along with the captured booty and ransomed back to the United States at an exorbitant price. After two years of minor confrontations, sustained action began in June 1803 when a small U.S. expeditionary force attacked Tripoli harbor in present-day Libya.
    In October 1803, the U.S. frigate Philadelphia ran aground near Tripoli and was captured by Tripolitan gunboats. The Americans feared that the well-constructed warship would be both a formidable addition to the Tripolitan navy and an innovative model for building future Tripolitan frigates. Hoping to prevent the Barbary pirates from gaining this military advantage, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a daring expedition into Tripoli harbor to destroy the captured American vessel on February 16, 1804.
    After disguising himself and his men as Maltese sailors, Decatur’s force of 74 men, which included nine U.S. Marines, sailed into Tripoli harbor on a small two-mast ship. The Americans approached the USS Philadelphia without drawing fire from the Tripoli shore guns, boarded the ship, and attacked its Tripolitan crew, capturing or killing all but two. After setting fire to the frigate, Decatur and his men escaped without the loss of a single American. The Philadelphia subsequently exploded when its gunpowder reserve was lit by the spreading fire.
    :shipwrecked:

    In 1878, strongly supported by western mining interests and farmers, the Bland-Allison Act—which provided for a return to the minting of silver coins—becomes the law of the land.
    :flipcoin:

    In 1968, U.S. officials report that, in addition to the 800,000 people listed as refugees prior to January 30, the fighting during the Tet Offensive has created 350,000 new refugees.
    :outdoors:

    On February 16, 1984, Bill Johnson becomes the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing, a sport long dominated by European athletes. Johnson quickly became a national hero, though his fame was short-lived, and he never again competed in the Olympics.
    :firstplace:

    On February 16, 1997, 25-year-old Jeff Gordon claims his first Daytona 500 victory, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the 200-lap, 500-mile National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) event, dubbed the “Super Bowl of stock car racing.” Driving his No. 24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the Hendrick Motorsports racing team, Gordon recorded an average speed of 148.295 mph and took home prize money of more than $377,000. According to NASCAR.com, Gordon was “a veritable babe in a field that included 27 drivers older than 35, 16 at least 40.” Gordon’s Hendrick teammates Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven finished the race second and third, respectively.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1904, Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly premieres at the La Scala theatre in Milan, Italy.
    :encore: And, no... it's NOT about a knife! :lulz:

    On this day in 1972, the 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle comes off the assembly line, breaking a world car production record held for more than four decades by the Ford Motor Company’s iconic Model T, which was in production from 1908 and 1927.
    :shift:

    On this day in 1993, approximately 900 people drown when a passenger ferry, the Neptune, overturns near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The ferry was dangerously overloaded, and carried no lifeboats or emergency gear.
    :drowning:

    On this day in 1979, in response to the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, China launches an invasion of Vietnam.
    Tensions between Vietnam and China increased dramatically after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Attempting to expand its influence, Vietnam established a military presence in Laos; strengthened its ties with China’s rival, the Soviet Union; and toppled the Cambodian regime of Pol Pot in 1979. Just over a month later, Chinese forces invaded, but were repulsed in nine days of bloody and bitter fighting. Tensions between China and Vietnam remained high throughout the next decade, and much of Vietnam’s scarce resources were allocated to protecting its border with China and its interests in Cambodia.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1801, after one tie vote in the Electoral College and 35 indecisive ballot votes in the House of Representatives, Vice President Thomas Jefferson is elected the third president of the United States over his running mate, Aaron Burr. The confusing election, which ended just 15 days before a new president was to be inaugurated, exposed major problems in the presidential electoral process set forth by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
    :decisions

    On this day in 1966, Brian Wilson rolled tape on take one of “Good Vibrations”. Six months, four studios, and $50,000 later, he finally completed his three-minute-and-thirty-nine-second symphony, pieced together from more than 90 hours of tape recorded during literally hundreds of sessions.
    :rjmartin:

    On this day in 1966, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Gen. Maxwell Taylor states that a major U.S. objective in Vietnam is to demonstrate that “wars of liberation” are “costly, dangerous and doomed to failure.” :wtf: Discussing the American air campaign against North Vietnam, Taylor declared that its primary purpose was “to change the will of the enemy leadership.”
    The decision to launch a bombing campaign against North Vietnam was controversial. President Lyndon B. Johnson deliberated for a year before deciding to undertake the sustained bombing of North Vietnam. Earlier in the month, he had ordered Operation Flaming Dart in response to communist attacks on U.S. installations in South Vietnam. It was hoped that these retaliatory raids would cause the North Vietnamese to cease support of Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam, but they did not have the desired effect. Out of frustration, Johnson initiated Operation Rolling Thunder.
    The new bombing campaign was designed to interdict North Vietnamese transportation routes in the southern part of North Vietnam and thereby slow infiltration of personnel and supplies into South Vietnam. The first Rolling Thunder mission took place on March 2, 1965, when 100 U.S. Air Force and Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) planes struck the Xom Bang ammunition dump 100 miles southeast of Hanoi. Rolling Thunder continued, with occasional suspensions, until President Johnson, under intense domestic political pressure, halted it on October 31, 1968.
    Operation Rolling Thunder was closely controlled by the White House and at times targets were personally selected by President Johnson. From 1965 to 1968, an estimated 643,000 tons of bombs were dropped on North Vietnam. A total of nearly 900 U.S. aircraft would be lost during Operation Rolling Thunder.
    :fuctupshit:

    On this day in 1968, American officials in Saigon report an all-time high weekly rate of U.S. casualties–543 killed in action and 2,547 wounded in the previous seven days. These losses were a result of the heavy fighting during the communist Tet Offensive.
    :sosad:

    On this day in 1996, in the final game of a six-game match, world chess champion Garry Kasparov triumphs over Deep Blue, IBM’s chess-playing computer, and wins the match, 4-2. However, Deep Blue goes on to defeat Kasparov in a heavily publicized rematch the following year.
    [​IMG]
     
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    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1885, Mark Twain publishes his famous–and famously controversial–novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
    :Writing:

    On this day in 2003, a man ignites a gasoline-filled container inside a subway train in Daegu, South Korea. The blaze engulfed the six-car train, before spreading to another train that pulled into station a few minutes later. In all, 198 people were killed and nearly 150 others were injured.
    :panic:

    On this day in 2011, in a Kent, Washington, courtroom, Gary Leon Ridgway pleads guilty to the 1982 aggravated, first-degree murder of his 49th victim, 20-year-old Rebecca Marrero. Marrero’s remains were found in December 2010, decades after her murder, in a ravine near Auburn, Washington. After entering his guilty plea, the 62-year-old Ridgway received his 49th life sentence without the possibility of parole and returned to the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, where he was already serving 48 consecutive life sentences, one for each of the other women he killed.
    :thechair:

    On this day in 1878, long simmering tensions in Lincoln County, New Mexico, explode into a bloody shooting war when gunmen murder the English rancher John Tunstall.
    Tunstall had established a large ranching operation in Lincoln County two years earlier in 1876, stepping into the middle of a dangerous political and economic rivalry for control of the region. Two Irish-Americans, J.J. Dolan and L.G. Murphy, operated a general store called The House, which controlled access to lucrative beef contracts with the government. The big ranchers, led by John Chisum and Alexander McSween, didn’t believe merchants should dominate the beef markets and began to challenge The House.
    Tunstall, a wealthy young English emigrant, soon realized that his interests were with Chisum and McSween in this conflict, and he became a leader of the anti-House forces. He won Dolan’s and Murphy’s lasting enmity by establishing a competing general merchandise store in Lincoln. By 1877, the power struggle was threatening to become overtly violent, and Tunstall began to hire young gunmen for protection, including the soon-to-be-infamous William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid.
    Although he had not worked for Tunstall long, Billy the Kid deeply resented this cold-blooded murder, and he immediately began a vendetta of violence against The House and its allies. Lincoln County became a war zone, and both sides began a spree of vicious killings. By July, The House was prevailing, having added McSween to its lists of victims. However, fighting would continue to erupt sporadically until 1884, when Chisum died of natural causes, and The House finally regained full control of Lincoln County. By that time, Billy the Kid had already been dead for three years, gunned down by Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett.
    :highwayman:

    On this day in 2001, Dale Earnhardt Sr., considered one of the greatest drivers in National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) history, dies at the age of 49 in a last-lap crash at the 43rd Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Earnhardt was driving his famous black No. 3 Chevrolet and vying for third place when he collided with another car, then crashed into a wall. After being cut from his car, Earnhardt, whose tough, aggressive driving style earned him the nickname “The Intimidator,” was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead of head injuries.
    :sosad:

    On this day in 1979, Richard Petty comes from behind to win the 21st annual Daytona 500, after leaders Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough crash into a wall during the final lap of the race. Allison and Yarborough then began fighting on the infield, an altercation broadcast on live television. The race helped popularize NASCAR racing at a national level.
    [​IMG]
     
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    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1851, an angry mob in San Francisco’s business district ”tries” two Australian suspects in the robbery and assault of C. J. Jansen. When the makeshift jury deadlocked, the suspects were returned to law enforcement officials. Jansen was working at his store at the corner of Montgomery and Washington when two men beat him unconscious and stole $2,000. Another merchant, William Coleman, then decided to play prosecutor and assembled judges and jury members from a crowd that had assembled at Portsmouth Square. Fortunately for the Australian suspects, the men who defended them got three jury members to agree that Jansen hadn’t been able to see the men who had robbed him clearly. Although some members of the mob wanted to hang the alleged thieves in spite of the verdict, the crowd dispersed. Later, however, local authorities convicted the men at a real trial in court.
    Vigilantes were fairly common during the Gold Rush boom in San Francisco. One committee spent most of its time rooting out Australian ne’er-do-wells. They hanged four and tossed another 30 out of town. In 1856, a 6,000-member vigilante group was assembled after a couple of high-profile shooting incidents. This lynch mob hanged the suspects and then directed their attention to politics.
    Such vigilante movements were generally popular all over the West in the middle and late 19th century. The San Francisco vigilantes were so well regarded that they took over the Democratic Party in the late 1850s and some became respected politicians.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1847, the first rescuers reach surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of California-bound emigrants stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
    :yaysmiles:

    On this day in 1884, an astonishing series of 37 tornadoes sweeps across the Southeast United States. The twisters, which came at a time in which there was no warning system in place to alert area residents, killed 167 people and injured another 1,000.
    :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister:

    On this day in 1473, Nicolaus Copernicus is born in Torun, a city in north-central Poland on the Vistula River. The father of modern astronomy, he was the first modern European scientist to propose that Earth and other planets revolve around the sun.
    :sunshining:

    On this day in 1878, the technology that made the modern music business possible came into existence in the New Jersey laboratory where Thomas Alva Edison created the first device to both record sound and play it back. He was awarded U.S. Patent No. 200,521 for his invention–the phonograph.
    :megaphone:

    On this day in 1945, Operation Detachment, the U.S. Marines’ invasion of Iwo Jima, is launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds, it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away.
    The Americans began applying pressure to the Japanese defense of the island in February 1944, when B-24 and B-25 bombers raided the island for 74 days. It was the longest pre-invasion bombardment of the war, necessary because of the extent to which the Japanese–21,000 strong–fortified the island, above and below ground, including a network of caves. Underwater demolition teams (“frogmen”) were dispatched by the Americans just before the actual invasion. When the Japanese fired on the frogmen, they gave away many of their “secret” gun positions.
    The amphibious landings of Marines began the morning of February 19 as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on them. By evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded. The capture of Mount Suribachi, the highest point of the island and bastion of the Japanese defense, took four more days and many more casualties. When the American flag was finally raised on Iwo Jima, the memorable image was captured in a famous photograph that later won the Pulitzer Prize.
    :Iwo_Jima:

    On this day in 1996, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy earns his 300th win in the National Hockey League. Roy retired from hockey in 2003 with 551 career wins, a record that still stands.
    :nhl_fight:

    On this day in 1984. driver Cale Yarborough wins his fourth Daytona 500. In the history of the 200-lap, 500-mile race, which was first run at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway in 1959 and is considered one of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)’s premiere events, only one driver topped Yarborough’s record—Richard Petty, who took home seven victories (1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981).
    :shift::irdaking:
     
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    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1985, in a highly controversial vote, the Irish government defies the powerful Catholic Church and approves the sale of contraceptives.
    [​IMG]

    In 1974, Reg Murphy, an editor of The Atlanta Constitution, is kidnapped after being lured from his home near the city. William Williams told the newspaperman that he had 300,000 gallons of heating oil to donate to the poor. The 33-year-old Williams abducted Murphy, who was well known for his anti-Vietnam War stance, at gunpoint.
    For the next 49 hours, Williams drove Murphy around the city, stopping to phone in ransom demands to the newspaper. Williams claimed to represent a right-wing militia group and insisted on receiving $700,000. Finally, managing editor G. James Minter delivered the money to Williams and Murphy was released.
    Within hours, Williams and his wife Betty were caught in their home outside the city with the ransom money. At the subsequent trial, Williams attempted a plea of mental instability and told the jury about being abused as a child. There was also evidence that he had been using amphetamines, but the motive for the crime remains a mystery. Williams was sentenced to 40 years for kidnapping and extortion, and his wife received three years’ probation for her concealment of the crime. In 1975, Williams was granted a new trial, found guilty again, and sentenced to 50 years in federal prison. He served nine years in federal prison before being paroled.
    [​IMG]

    The most famous contract rider in rock-and-roll history may be the one Van Halen used that stipulated that “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.”
    Even in its heyday, Great White was no Van Halen. Yet one can be sure that the contract rider enumerating their onstage and backstage needs circa 1988 must have looked rather different from the one they were using 15 years later. The latter document was a model of restraint. Beverages? Bottled water, orange juice, coffee, tea and a few Red Bulls. Lunch? Something from the venue kitchen, or sandwiches from Subway. The rider specified gel colors for the lights and dimensions for the merchandise table, but in the detailed stage diagram it made no mention of three pyrotechnic devices—spark fountains called “gerbs”—that the band’s tour manager liked to set off just as Jack Russell’s Great White tore into their opening number. Those devices would start the fourth deadliest fire in American history, killing 100 patrons of The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, on the night of February 20, 2003.
    Ironically, a local news crew was on hand at the Station nightclub to report on the issue of nightclub safety. (Four days earlier, 21 people had been killed during a stampede at a club in Chicago.) Helping out with the report was Jeffrey Derderian, who co-owned the Station with his brother Michael. That night, they were expecting a full house to see the heavy-metal band Great White.
    Just after 11 p.m., near the beginning of the show, Daniel Biechele, Great White’s tour manager, set off some pyrotechnics behind the performers, which set fire to the soundproofing foam on the ceiling. For a short time, no one realized the severity of the situation. As the fire spread rapidly, though, panic ensued. Most of the 400 people at the concert attempted to leave the club through the front entrance.
    As black smoke filled the club’s interior, the desperate rush of people to the front entrance caused a pile-up, trapping people where they stood. Though firefighters, who responded within minutes, worked hard to pull people to safety through the front door, 96 people died in the smoke and flames. Most of the bodies were found near the front entrance. Among the dead was Great White’s guitarist, Ty Longley. Another 35 people were left in critical condition, including four who would later die from their injuries.
    In the aftermath of the tragedy, Daniel Biechele was indicted for setting off the pyrotechnics without a permit. He pled guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter and received a sentence of four years in prison with 11 more years suspended. Michael Derderian pled guilty for his role in maintaining the Station and received a 15-year sentence (four years to serve, and 11 years suspended). His brother Jeffrey got a 10-year suspended sentence.
    :panic:

    On this day in 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr. is successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut.
    :astronaut:

    On February 20, 1998, 15-year-old Tara Lipinski wins the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and becomes the youngest gold medalist in her sport.
    [​IMG]
     
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    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1965, in New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.
    :honcho:

    On this day in 1971, the Mississippi River Delta is pounded by powerful tornadoes that kill more than 100 people. The storm that caused the twisters moved up from the bayous of Louisiana through Mississippi to Tennessee. Hundreds of people were injured across the three states.
    :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister:

    On this day in 1885, The Washington Monument, built in honor of America’s revolutionary hero and first president, is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
    :blahblah:

    On February 21, 1848, The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League. The political pamphlet–arguably the most influential in history–proclaimed that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever. Originally published in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (“Manifesto of the Communist Party”), the work had little immediate impact. Its ideas, however, reverberated with increasing force into the 20th century, and by 1950 nearly half the world’s population lived under Marxist governments.
    :redcard:

    On this day in 1967, writer and historian Bernard B. Fall is killed by a Viet Cong mine while accompanying a U.S. Marine patrol along the seacoast about 14 miles northwest of Hue, on a road known as the “Street Without Joy” (which Fall had used for the title of one of his books about the war). A professor of international relations at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Fall was a French citizen and noted expert on the war in Vietnam. He was killed while gathering material for his eighth book. A U.S. Marine photographer was also killed.
    :sosad:

    On this day in 1952, men’s figure skater Dick Button wins his second Olympic gold medal. Button captured his first gold prize at the 1948 Olympics, becoming the first American to ever take home the men’s title. After dominating men’s figure skating at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, Button retired from amateur competition and later became one of the sport’s leading television analysts.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1948, the National Association for Stock Car Racing–or NASCAR, as it will come to be widely known–is officially incorporated. NASCAR racing will go on to become one of America’s most popular spectator sports, as well as a multi-billion-dollar industry.
    :shift:
     
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  15. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 2006, in the early morning hours, a gang of at least six men, some of them armed, steal £53 million from the Securitas bank depot in Kent, Great Britain. It was the largest such theft in British history.
    The plot was well planned. On the evening before, two men, dressed as police officers, pulled the depot manager, Colin Dixon, over as he was driving in nearby Stockbury. They convinced him to get out of his car, and forced him into their vehicle. At about the same time, two more men visited Dixon’s home and picked up Dixon’s wife and eight-year-old son; eventually all three Dixons were taken to a farm in West Kent, where the gang threatened their lives if Colin refused to cooperate with the robbery.
    The Dixons were then forced to go with the gang to the Securitas depot, where Colin helped them evade the building’s security system. The gang proceeded to tie up 14 depot staff members, load the £53 million into a truck and, at about 2:15 a.m. on February 22, drive away. No one was injured in the robbery. Eventually, one depot worker was able to contact police, who launched a massive search for the culprits. As the stolen money was all in used bills, it was difficult to trace. Securitas and its insurers posted a £2 million reward for information leading to the arrests of the robbers and return of the money.
    The next day, three people, one man and two women, were arrested in connection with the case; one had attempted to deposit £6,000 into a local bank that was bound in Securitas depot tape. However, all three were later released without being charged. Police continue to investigate the case, and more than 30 people have been arrested, though there have been no convictions. Police are also said to have recovered nearly £20 million of the stolen money.
    :highwayman:

    On this day in 2014, one of the world’s most-wanted criminals, Joaquin “El Chapo” (“Shorty”) Guzman Loera, head of the Sinaloa cartel, the world’s biggest drug trafficking organization, is arrested in a joint U.S.-Mexican operation in Mazatlán, Mexico, after outrunning law enforcement for more than a decade. Guzman had been the target of an international hunt since 2001, when he escaped from a Mexican prison where he was serving a 20-year sentence. During his years on the lam, Guzman’s elusiveness was celebrated in “narcocorridos,” Mexican ballads glorifying the drug trade, while in such places as Chicago, where his cartel supplied the majority of the narcotics sold in the city, he was declared Public Enemy No. 1.
    :mugshot:

    On this day in 1998, seven tornadoes rip through central Florida killing 42 people. This was the deadliest outbreak of twisters in Florida’s history.
    :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister: :twister:

    On this day in 1965, General William Westmoreland, commander of Military Assistance Command Vietnam, cables Washington, D.C., to request that two battalions of U.S. Marines be sent to protect the U.S. airbase at Da Nang.
    Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, aware of Westmoreland’s plan, disagreed and cabled President Lyndon B. Johnson from Saigon to warn that such a step would encourage South Vietnam to “shuck off greater responsibilities.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff, however, supported Westmoreland’s request and on February 26, White House officials cabled Taylor and Westmoreland that the troops would be sent, and that Taylor should “Secure GVN [Government of South Vietnam] approval.” General Westmoreland later insisted that he did not regard his request as “the first step in a growing American commitment,” but by 1969 there were over 540,000 American troops in South Vietnam.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1967, Operation Junction City is launched to ease pressure on Saigon. It was an effort to smash the Viet Cong’s stronghold in Tay Ninh Province and surrounding areas along the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon.
    The purpose of the operation was to drive the Viet Cong away from populated areas and into the open, where superior American firepower could be more effectively used. In the largest operation of the war to date, four South Vietnamese and 22 U.S. battalions were involved–more than 25,000 troops. The first day’s operation was supported by 575 aircraft sorties, a record number for a single day in South Vietnam. The operation was marked by one of the largest airmobile assaults in history when 240 troop-carrying helicopters descended on the battlefield. There were 2,728 enemy casualties by the end of the operation on March 17.
    :pileskulls:

    On this day in 1980, the U.S. men’s hockey team pulls off one of the biggest upsets in sports history with a 4-3 victory over the heavily favored Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Two days later, the Americans went on to beat Finland and take home the gold medal.
    :nhl_fight:

    On this day in 1959, Lee Petty defeats Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish at the just-opened Daytona International Speedway in Florida to win the first-ever Daytona 500. The race was so close that Beauchamp was initially named the winner by William France, the owner of the track and head of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). However, Petty, who was driving a hardtop Oldsmobile 88, challenged the results and three days later, with the assistance of news photographs, he was officially named the champ. There was speculation that France declared Beauchamp the winner in order to intentionally stir up controversy and generate publicity for his new race track.
    :shift:
     
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  16. Kelper

    Kelper Penguin Egg Eater Lady Devil

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    I lived just few minutes away from the Depot in Tonbridge, used to drive by most days. I think most people hadn't realised how much money was there. Here's a local link.

    http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tonbridge/news/britains-biggest-heist---10-91293/
     
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  17. Kelper

    Kelper Penguin Egg Eater Lady Devil

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    hagen_paint-760x506.jpg
     
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  18. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1945, during the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event. American soldiers fighting for control of Suribachi’s slopes cheered the raising of the flag, and several hours later more Marines headed up to the crest with a larger flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer with the Associated Press, met them along the way and recorded the raising of the second flag along with a Marine still photographer and a motion-picture cameraman.
    :Iwo_Jima:

    On this day in 1885, a 19-year-old man named John Lee is sent to the gallows in Exeter, England, for the murder of Ellen Keyse, a rich older woman for whom he had worked. Although he insisted he was innocent, Lee had been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. However, after the noose was put around his neck and the lever that would release the floor beneath his feet was pulled, something malfunctioned and Lee was not dropped.
    Strangely, the equipment had been tested and found to be in working order. In fact, weights used in a test run plunged to the ground as expected. The hanging was attempted two more times, but when Lee stood on the trap door, and the lever was pulled, nothing happened. He was then sent back to prison.
    On November 15, 1884, Keyse, who had been a maid to Queen Victoria, was found dead in a pantry next to Lee’s room. Her head was severely battered and her throat cut. There was no direct evidence of Lee’s guilt; the case was made solely on circumstantial evidence. The alleged motive was Lee’s resentment at Keyse’s mean treatment.
    The authorities, mystified at the gallows’ inexplicable malfunction, decided to ascribe it to an act of God. Lee was removed from death row, his sentence commuted, and he spent the next 22 years in prison. After he was released, he emigrated to America. The cause of Lee’s remarkable reprieve was never discovered.
    Condemned prisoners no longer have a chance at such reprieves. Even when there are mishaps in carrying out an execution (in one case, an executioner failed to properly find a vein for a lethal injection), authorities follow through until the prisoner has been put to death.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1887, an earthquake off the Mediterranean coast of southern France and northern Italy destroys villages and kills more than 2,000 people. At the time, the area was, as usual, playing host to visiting tourists from all over Europe celebrating Mardi Gras, including the Prince of Wales.
    :panic1:

    On this day in 1954, a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1966, according to the U.S. military headquarters in Saigon, 90,000 South Vietnamese deserted in 1965. This number was almost 14 percent of total South Vietnamese army strength and was twice the number of those that deserted in 1964. By contrast, the best estimates showed that fewer than 20,000 Viet Cong defected during the previous year.
    :yellowcard:

    On this day in 1958, five-time Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina is kidnapped in Cuba by a group of Fidel Castro’s rebels.
    Fangio was taken from his Havana hotel the day before the Cuba Grand Prix, an event intended to showcase the island nation. He was released unharmed several hours after the race. The kidnapping was intended to bring international embarrassment to Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, whose government Castro would overthrow on January 1, 1959.
    :formulaone:

    On this day in 1980, speed skater Eric Heiden wins the 10,000-meter race at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, setting a world record with his time and winning an unprecedented fifth gold medal at the games.
    :firstplace:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  19. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1836, in San Antonio, Texas, Colonel William Travis issues a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army.
    Things are starting to look pretty grim.... to be continued>>>>>.....

    In 1981, socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Dr. Herman Tarnower, the author of the bestselling The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet. Harris, the headmistress of an exclusive girls’ school, shot Dr. Tarnower at his Westchester County, New York, home on March 10, 1980. Harris claimed that she had been trying to kill herself but that Tarnower was shot when he tried to wrestle the gun away from her.
    :wtf:

    A massive avalanche in the Austrian Alps buries homes and kills 13 people in Valzur on this day in 1999. The avalanche came only one day after an avalanche in the neighboring village of Galtur killed 25 people.
    :snow:

    In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court votes 8-0 to overturn the $200,000 settlement awarded to the Reverend Jerry Falwell for his emotional distress at being parodied in Hustler, a pornographic magazine.
    In 1983, Hustler ran a piece parodying Falwell’s first sexual experience as a drunken, incestuous, childhood encounter with his mother in an outhouse. Falwell, an important religious conservative and founder of the Moral Majority political advocacy group, sued Hustler and its publisher, Larry Flynt, for libel. Falwell won the case, but Flynt appealed, leading to the Supreme Court’s hearing the case because of its constitutional implications. In February 1988, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court’s decision, ruling that, although in poor taste, Hustler‘s parody fell within the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech and the press.
    :boobies:

    On this day in 1968, The Imperial Palace in Hue is recaptured by South Vietnamese troops. Although the Battle of Hue was not officially declared over for another week, it was the last major engagement of the Tet Offensive.
    :surrender:

    In 1969, after a North Vietnamese mortar shells rocks their Douglas AC-47 gunship, Airman First Class John L. Levitow throws himself on an activated, smoking magnesium flare, drags himself and the flare to the open cargo door, and tosses it out of the aircraft just before it ignites. For saving his fellow crewmembers and the gunship, Airman Levitow was later awarded the Medal of Honor. He was one of only two enlisted airmen to win the Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam and was one of only five enlisted airmen ever to win the medal.
    [​IMG]

    On February 24, 1982, Wayne Gretzky scores his 77th goal, breaking a record held by Phil Esposito of 76 goals in a single season that was previously thought unbeatable by many fans.
    :penaltybox:
     
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  20. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Brigade Member

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    On this day in 1949, actor Robert Mitchum is released from a Los Angeles County prison farm after spending the final week of his two-month sentence for marijuana possession there.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1984, a huge explosion destroys a shantytown in Brazil, killing at least 500 people, mostly young children. An investigation into the disaster later revealed that the true death count was impossible to know because so many bodies had in effect been cremated in the intense blaze.
    The shantytown in Cubatao, 30 miles southeast of Sao Paulo, was known as the Vila Soco favela. Approximately 9,000 people had set up makeshift homes on land that was owned by Petrobas, the state-run oil monopoly. Gas pipelines operated by Petrobas ran next to the slum. When workers opened the wrong pipeline on February 24, highly combustible octane gas poured into the ditches of Vila Soco. Soon after midnight, an explosion was sparked, and a fireball ripped through the favela. Some homes were literally thrown hundreds of feet into the air; others were instantly incinerated. The temperature at the heart of the fireball was estimated at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
    A day later, only 86 bodies had been recovered. None of the remains were of children below the age of seven, though investigators later found that more than 300 children aged three to six had been enrolled in a local school prior to the explosion and that only 60 were known to be alive. Coroner Affonso Figueiredo reported, “Since whole families were killed, there was no one to report the children’s death or disappearance.” It is believed that more than 500 people in all were killed.
    [​IMG]

    On this day in 1870, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress.
    :goodjob:

    On this day in 1873, Enrico Caruso was born in Naples, Italy.
    There was a time in America, early in the last century, when the top-selling record of all time was of the operatic tenor Enrico Caruso performing “Vesti la giubba” from Pagliacci. That 78 r.p.m. record was the first million-seller in American history, and at a price that exceeded the cost of some tickets to a live Caruso performance. It has happened occasionally in more recent times that stars from the world of opera have crossed over to attain a degree of mainstream popularity—Plácido Domingo, José Carrera, and Luciano Pavarotti, performing as “the Three Tenors,” are the most successful that come to mind. Yet it might take 300 tenors of their stature to equal the cultural impact of Enrico Caruso, the most famous operatic tenor in history and the biggest recording artist of the early 20th century.
    :encore:

    On this day in 1890, Vlacheslav Mikhaylovich Skryabin, foreign minister for the Soviet Union who took the revolutionary name Molotov, is born in Kurkaka, Russia.
    Though he held many notable posts in the Soviet government, many remember him for another reason–during the war, Molotov advocated the use of throwing bottles filled with flammable liquid and stuffed with a lit rag at the enemy, and the famous “Molotov cocktail” was born.
    :panic:

    On this day in 1971, in both houses of Congress, legislation is initiated to forbid U.S. military support of any South Vietnamese invasion of North Vietnam without congressional approval. This legislation was a result of the controversy that arose after the invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces in Operation Lam Son 719. On February 8, South Vietnamese forces had launched a major cross-border operation into Laos to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy the North Vietnamese supply dumps in the area.
    Although the only direct U.S. support permitted was long-range cross-border artillery fire from firebases in South Vietnam, fixed-wing air strikes, and 2,600 helicopters to airlift Saigon troops and supplies, President Richard Nixon’s critics condemned the invasion. Foreign Relations Committee chairman Senator J. William Fulbright (D-Arkansas) declared the Laotian invasion illegal under the terms of the repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed the president only the mandate to end the war.
    :dont:

    On this day in 1972, U.S. troops clash with North Vietnamese forces in a major battle 42 miles east of Saigon, the biggest single U.S. engagement with an enemy force in nearly a year. The five-hour action around a communist bunker line resulted in four dead and 47 wounded, almost half the U.S. weekly casualties.
    :sosad:

    On this day in 1964, underdog Cassius Clay, age 22, defeats champion Sonny Liston in a technical knockout to win the world heavyweight boxing crown. The highly anticipated match took place in Miami Beach, Florida. Clay, who later became known to the world as Muhammad Ali, went on to become the first fighter to capture the heavyweight title three times.
    [​IMG]
     
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