2004—A-list broadcast journalists crack up at a black-tie dinner as President George W.[MD] Bush jokes about “his” failed search for WMDs. Less amused: families of the 691 GI’s killed in his pre-emptive war.
1989—Exxon delivers an important message about its commitment to the environment via the Exxon Valdez.
1985—Shot by a Soviet sentry while peeping at an East German tank shed, U.S. Army Maj. Arthur D. Nicholson becomes what the Pentagon calls “the last casualty of the Cold War.”
1972—At Washington, D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy try to score an “LSD-type drug” from an ex-CIA doctor. They even fail at that.
1971—The Washington Post reports that stolen FBI documents show mailmen, a Swarthmore switchboard operator, and a local police chief have been spying on Philadelphia activists.
1971—Operation Lam Son 719, the ARVN invasion of Laos, ends. Casualties: huge; winners: none.
1944—At Stalag Luft III, 76 POWs exit via “Tunnel Harry;” three get away, 50 are shot. Not so great, really.
1944—Parachute kaput, RAF tailgunner Nicholas Alkemade jumps from 18,000 feet over Germany. Pine trees and snow break his fall; he lives until 1987—now that’s a great escape.
1661—Massachusetts Puritans hang William Leddra for the odious crime of being a Quaker.