2004—The GOP tries to ban gay marriage but can’t rise to the occasion.
2000—Five tobacco companies are ordered to pay $145 billion in damages, but they wiggle off the hook.
1989—Alabama tries twice, 19 minutes apart, to electrocute Horace F. Dunkins, who’s Black and developmentally-disabled. The first try fails because the chair is wired wrong.
1981—New Hampshire businessman Max Hugel’s stint as Deputy Director of Operations at the CIA ends after 64 days due to revelations of unseemly stock market shenanigans.
1976—Persons unknown in Traves, France celebrate Bastille Day by burning the home of Nazi war criminal Joachim Peiper—while he’s in it.
1975—Boss Clarence Kelley confesses to Congress that the FBI has been burglarizing Americans since 1940.
1970—R. Nixon approves the Huston plan to burgle and surveil Americans. It’s so bad J. Edgar Hoover nixes it.
1948—Southerners walk out of the Democratic convention to form the pro-segregation States’ Rights Party.
1943—In two separate incidents, GIs in Sicily murder 73 Axis prisoners.
1921—Massachusetts’ show trial of Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti ends with a guilty verdict.
1798—The Sedition Act passes, making it a crime to criticise the government—especially President Adams.
1791—Swiss citizens yell “Live free or die” on the first-ever Bastille Day.