2007—China executes its Director of the State Food and Drug Administration for taking bribes that resulted in 40 deaths.
2001—A Phoenix FBI agent sends a memo to FBI HQ warning of “an inordinate number” of suspicious characters in local flight schools, possibly as part of a bin Laden plot. It’s ignored.
2001—CIA boss George Tenet tries to warn George Bush and Condi Rice about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, but can’t get their attention.
1985—French secret police in the South Pacific blow up Greenpeace’s boat, Rainbow Warrior.
1972—Water being used to fight an arson fire destroys the U.S.S. Forrestal’s computers and nearly capsizes her.
1949—Pamir, a four-masted barque laden with barley, becomes the last sailing vessel to ’round Cape Horn with commercial cargo.
1929—The Portsmouth Herald reports that the Coast Guard has seized 129 cases of booze in Rye Harbor.
1926—Lightning hits a powder warehouse in Picatinny, N.J. Three days of explosions destroy 187 buildings, kill 19, and injure 38.
1805—RIP Revolutionary War soldier Col. William Butler, court martialed for refusing to cut off his ponytail. “Bore a hole through the bottom of my coffin,” his will said, “[so] the damned rascal [his ex-CO] will see that, even when dead, I refuse to obey his orders.”