2004—“I trust God speaks through me,” George W.[MD] Bush tells a group of Amish people. “Without that, I couldn’t do my job.”
1993—To prove it’s unbreakable, Toronto lawyer Garry Hoy hurls himself against a 24th floor window. It pops from its frame; he falls to his death.
1986—Ed “Meese is a Pig” Meese publishes a 1,960-page report on pornography packed with obscene titles.
1964—Senator Strom Thurmond [D-S.C.], 61, wrestles Senator Ralph Yarborough [D-Texas], also 61, to the floor to prevent a committee quorum.
1958—A 1,700-foot mega-tsunami hits Lituya Bay, Alaska.
1951—Dashiell Hammett, 57, tubercular author of The Maltese Falcon, is sentenced to six months in prison by the House Un-American Activities Committee for his reticence.
1937—Oliver Law, a battalion commander in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and 1st African-American to lead white troops, is KIA in Spain.
1918—Two trains collide head-on in Nashville killing 101 and injuring another 171. It is the deadliest train wreck in U.S. history.
1850—Pres. Zachary Taylor dies, conceivably poisoned by pro-slavery southerners. If so, the first assassination paid off, at least for the short term.
1846—Marines from the U.S.S. Portsmouth row ashore at Yerba Buena (now San Francisco), and raise the flag, claiming California for the U.S.