Thurs, Dec 23

2004—NASA gives odds of 1 in 233 that an asteroid will hit Earth in 2029.

1994—Tipped off by a Boston FBI agent that he’s about to be arrested, James “Whitey” Bulger takes a powder. He’s on the lam for 16.5 years.

1986—The airplane Voyager completes its nonstop circumnavigation.

1981—Basement digging causes the Foye Building, next to the Portsmouth Athenæum, to partially collapse.

1971—With a million from the Mob in his pocket, President Nixon springs Jimmy Hoffa from federal prison; the Teamsters soon endorse Nixon.

1963—FBI officials begin scheming to “neutralize” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with wiretapping, bugging, infiltration, sabotage, and blackmail.

1955—James Kutcher, a legless WW II vet, has his disability payments cut off, too, because he’s a Socialist.

1953—In Korea, 21 American POWs refuse to go home. In response, the CIA starts studying mind control.

1944—Lax security combines with German industry: 25 Nazis escape from Phoenix’s Papago Park POW camp through a 178-foot tunnel hacked out of rock-hard caliche.

1924—The world’s biggest manufacturers of light bulbs form the secret Phoebus cartel. Its aim: shorten the life-span of light bulbs by 60 percent.

1849—Tied half-naked to a pole, Fyodor Dostoevsky is presumably pleased to learn he’ll be going to Siberia for four years, instead of being shot.

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