Fri, Aug 7

2016—Verrückt (German for “insane”), the world’s tallest waterslide, built in Kansas City by men who later admitted that they didn’t know what they were doing, and exempt from state licensing, decapitates the 10-year-old son of a Kansas state rep.

1974—Three GOP bigwigs tell Nixon he’s through. About to pardon the Watergate conspirators, Nixon backs off on advice from Len Garment. Al Haig—Nixon’s man—bends Gerry Ford’s ear for an hour in a meeting unrecorded in the V.P.’s official logs.

1964—Congress falls for the Gulf of Tonkin hoax and gives L.B.J. unprecedented (and unconstitutional) power. Sen. Wayne Morse (D-Ore.) votes no, saying “I believe that within the next century, future generations will look with dismay and great disappointment upon a Congress which is now about to make such a historic mistake.”

1957—In Nevada, ZSG-3 becomes the first Goodyear Blimp to be brought down by a nuclear weapon.

1936—Rep. Marion Zioncheck (D-Wash.), who once had a load of manure dumped on J. Edgar Hoover’s lawn, defenestrates from the fifth floor of a Seattle office building.

1930—A mob lynches three Black men in Marion, Ind.. A photo of two, dead, inspires the song, “Strange Fruit.” The third, rescued, later founds America’s Black Holocaust Museum.

1890—Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, “The Rebel Girl,” is born in Concord, N.H.

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