Fri, Nov 20

2008—Sarah Palin is interviewed on live TV while, in the background, turkeys are being slaughtered.

1980—In Louisiana, an oil rig drilling in the wrong spot hits a salt mine under Lake Peigneur. The rig, 11 barges, and a tugboat disappear.

1979—Fundamentalists seize Mecca’s Grand Mosque, full of hostages. The CIA blames guiltless Iran.

1975—Spanish dictator Francisco Franco dies. Reportedly he’s still dead.

1969—News reports say American GIs massacred hundreds of civilians at “Pinkville” on March 16, 1968.

1969—Eighty-nine American Indians again attempt to occupy Alcatraz; 14 evade a Coast Guard blockade and achieve their objective.

1962—The Cuban Missile Crisis blows over, rather than up. With Armageddon postponed, President Kennedy orders an end to discrimination in federally-funded housing.

1945—The Nuremberg trials begin.

1943—Marines land at Tarawa; the death toll is higher by hundreds because planners miscalculated the tides.

1903—Tom Horn, hired killer, is hanged for a murder he probably didn’t commit. The water-powered, automatic, victim-actuated gallows takes 17 minutes to strangle him.

1820—A whale attacks the Nantucket whaling ship Essex, inspiring the greatest fish story ever told.

1816—Albany Typographical Union strikers first denounce “scabs.”

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