1985—Doped up after cancer surgery five days earlier, Ronald Reagan OKs an arms-for-hostages deal with Iran.
1984—James O. Huberty tells his wife he’s “going to hunt humans,” then kills 21 and wounds 19 at a San Diego McDonald’s. A sniper gets him. His widow sues Mickey D’s for poisoning his mind with MSG, but to no avail.
1981—Norman Mailer’s protege Jack Abbott, on work release after a stretch for robbery and manslaughter, fatally stabs a waiter in the East Village.
1972—A sailor disables the U.S.S. Ranger for three months by dropping a paint scraper into its reduction gears.
1969—Senator Ted Kennedy gives Mary Jo Kopechne a ride part of the way home from a party, goes for a swim, then takes a nap.
1944—Ordered by der Führer to kill a fly, aide Fritz Darges suggests it’s a job for the Luftwaffe. He’s immediately banished to the Eastern Front.
1938—Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan lands in Ireland after an unauthorized trans-Atlantic flight.
1925—H.L. Mencken is nearly run out of Dayton, Tenn. on a rail by its pious Christian inhabitants.
1877—Governor Henry Mathews of West Virginia pleads for U.S. Marines to suppress the B & O railroad strike.
1863—Black soldiers of the 54th Mass. Infantry Regiment prove their worth at the Battle of Ft. Wagner.
1862—Confederate rangers capture Newburgh, Ill. using fake cannons.