1998—Brokers who rigged the game at NASDAQ are compelled to pay their bilked customers $1 billion.
1989—The Berlin Wall suddenly becomes unexpectedly porous.
1979—A computer error leads the U.S. Air Defense Command to believe for six minutes that the USSR is attacking the U.S.
1969—Two small groups of Indians make successive landings on Alcatraz Island. The first is removed by the Coast Guard, the second manages to stay overnight.
1965—A failed power plant in Ontario puts the Northeast in the dark.
1953—Dylan Thomas dies in New York at 39, mostly from bad doctoring.
1938—German Nazis demonstrate their racial superiority during Kristallnacht by killing 91 Jews.
1932—To restore order, the Swiss Army fires on a crowd of protestors in Geneva, killing 13 anti-fascists.
1919—Columbia University President Nicholas M. Butler exhorts veterans to “put forth every energy” to “crush these enemies of our nation,” meaning radical leftists.
1872—In Boston, 600 buildings burn. The Fire Department is hampered by a lack of horsepower due to an equine virus, aka “the Great Epizootic,” and by looters. Portsmouth sends a steamer and 34 men to assist.
1863—Abraham Lincoln watches John Wilkes Booth perform in Selby’s “The Marble Heart” at Ford’s Theatre.