Fri, April 26

1986—Murphy’s Law at Chernobyl: Ukrainian real estate values plummet, northern Earth is irradiated, and thousands are condemned to death.

1970—When the Louisiana Senate Chamber is dynamited, a pencil sticks in the ornate ceiling. It’s still there.

1952—The captain of the USS Hobson, disregarding an underling’s advice, takes his destroyer across the bow of the USS Wasp. Cut in half, the Hobson sinks with more than half its crew, captain included.

1944—The U.S. takes over Montgomery-Ward after it defies the National Labor Relations Board.

1937—German and Italian planes destroy Guernica, Spain.

1931—Lou Gehrig hits a home run but is called out for passing another runner on the basepath.

1922—On the Detroit street where he’d parked it earlier, Henry Ford finds that someone has stolen his Ford.

1901—“I’ll be in Hell before you start breakfast!” says train-robber Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum, whose head flies off after the hangman drops him.

1865—Hatter-turned-cavalryman Boston Corbett, who had earlier castrated himself with scissors to better resist enticement by prostitutes, shoots and kills John Wilkes Booth.

1717—A Nor’easter takes Whydah to the bottom off Wellfleet. Captain “Black Sam” Bellamy—richest pirate ever—goes down with his ship, most of his crew, and four tons of booty.

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