Thurs, Feb 4

2009—While giving a TED Talk on malaria prevention at Long Beach, Calif., Bill Gates releases a jarful of mosquitoes to feast on the audience.

1976—Lockheed admits to paying $22 million in bribes to sell aircraft.

1974—William Randolph Hearst’s granddaughter Patty, 19, is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

1968—Cholon, Saigon’s Chinatown, is declared a free-fire zone; South Vietnamese pilots bomb their own capitol.

1968—Ur-beat Neal Cassady, 41, dies alongside railroad tracks in Mexico.

1913—Rosa Louise McCauley Parks is born in Tuskegee, Ala.

1912—Franz Reichelt, an Austrian tailor, tests an experimental parachute/overcoat from the Eiffel Tower. His design is fatally flawed.

1899—Five months after being liberated from Spaniards by Americans, Filipinos begin fighting the liberators.

1887—The ICC is established. A future Union Pacific president calls it “quite harmless…[it] will impress the popular mind with the idea that a great deal is being done, when, in reality, very little is intended to be done.”

1875—Eadweard Muybridge, the pioneering photographer who shot Major Harry Larkyns dead for impregnating his wife, is found not guilty by a California jury which says they’d have done the same. He’s the last man to enjoy that loophole in America.

1794—The Fugitive Slave Act expands the fugitive-catching racket.

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