2016—Verrückt (German for “insane”), the world’s tallest waterslide, built in Kansas City by men who later admitted that they didn’t know what they were doing, and exempt from state licensing, decapitates the 10-year-old son of a Kansas state rep.
1974—Three GOP bigwigs tell Nixon he’s through. Len Garment talks him out of pardoning the Watergate conspirators. Nixon’s man Al Haig meets again in secret with with Jerry Ford. Move along; nothing to see here.
1964—Congress falls for the Gulf of Tonkin hoax. L.B.J. gets unprecedented and unconstitutional power. Sen. Wayne Morse (D-Ore.) votes no, saying “future generations will look with dismay and great disappointment upon a Congress which is now about to make such a historic mistake.”
1957—In Nevada, ZSG-3 becomes the first Goodyear Blimp to be brought down by a nuclear weapon.
1936—Rep. Marion Zioncheck (D-Wash.), who once had a load of manure dumped on J. Edgar Hoover’s lawn, defenestrates from the fifth floor of a Seattle office building.
1930—A mob lynches three Black men in Marion, Ind. A photo of two, dead, inspires the song, “Strange Fruit.” The third, rescued, later founds America’s Black Holocaust Museum.
1893—William Ruffin Cox, ex-CSA Gen., is made Secretary of the Senate.
1890—Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, “The Rebel Girl,” is born in Concord, N.H.