Sunday, August 30, 2020


1778 British soldiers massacred 17 members of the Stockbridge militia in the Bronx during the American Revolution. The militia consisted of mostly Mahican, Wappinger, and Munsee Native Americans who sided with the colonists.

1888 London police found Mary Ann Nichols, a prostitute, dead in the East End. She is considered to be Jack the Ripper's first victim.

1894 In New Zealand, the Liberal government of Richard Seddon passed the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, making New Zealand the first country in the world to outlaw strikes and force arbitration.

1911 The "Sullivan Act" came into effect, requiring New Yorkers to possess licenses for firearms small enough to be concealed.

1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an act prohibiting the export of U.S. arms to belligerents.

1959 A parcel bomb sent by Ngô Đình Nhu, younger brother and chief adviser of South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm, failed to kill King Norodom Sihanouk of neighboring Cambodia. The king’s chief of protocol, Prince Norodom Vakrivan, opened the box supposedly containing a gift from American friends and was killed instantly, along with a servant.

1970 A Connecticut jury convicted Black Panther activist Lonnie McLucas to 12-15 years for the murder of Black Panther Alex Rackley, a suspected FBI informant.

1970 33 Dutch extremists fighting for Moluccan autonomy in Indonesia (formerly Dutch East Indies) invaded the home of the Indonesian ambassador in Wassenaar, a suburb of The Hague, to protest the proposed visit of Indonesian dictator Suharto to the Netherlands. A policeman, Officer Molenaar, was killed but no one was ever arrested.

1974 John Lennon testified in U.S. federal court that the administration of U.S. President Nixon tried to have him deported because of his involvement with the anti-war demonstrations at the 1972 Republican convention in Miami, FL. Lennon finally got his green card in 1976.

1976 A New York judge ruled Beatle George Harrison guilty of plagiarizing the song "He’s So Fine" (composed by Ronald Mack and recorded by the Chiffons) in his hit “My Sweet Lord.”

1980 Poland's Solidarity labor movement began when the government and trade unions signed an agreement ending a 17-day strike in Gdansk. Solidarity grew to include 25% of the country's population and was thus able to become a lobby for national reform.

1985 Residents of an East Los Angeles neighborhood captured California's "Night Stalker" killer Richard Ramirez.

1988 Arbitrator George Nicolau ruled the owners of Major League Baseball teams colluded to restrict bidding for free agents. On the same day a year later, arbitrator Thomas T. Roberts ordered owners to pay $105 million for the collusion; in 1990, management finally agreed with the players' union to pay those players affected $280 million.

1990 East and West Germany signed a treaty to join legal and political systems.

1992 White separatist Randy Weaver surrendered to authorities in Idaho, ending an 11-day siege. Weaver's wife and son and a deputy U.S. marshal were killed during the siege.

1997 Britain's Princess Diana, her companion Dodi Fayed, and driver Henri Paul died in a car crash in Paris.

1999 The first in the “9/99” bombings in Moscow occurred at the shopping mall on Manezhnaya Square. One person died and 40 others were wounded. The bombings, blamed variously on the Federal Security Service and GRU or Arab militants fighting on the side of Chechen insurgents, continued until September 16 and killed 367 and injured more than 1,000.

2005 953 people died following a stampede on the Al-Aaimmah bridge across the Tigres River in Baghdad. A million Shia pilgrims were making their way to the Musa al-Kazi shrine when rumors of a suicide bomber ran rampant through the crowd, causing hundreds to rush to the bridge. (Hours before, an Al-Qaeda insurgent group killed seven and wounded dozens more in a mortar attack on the crowd.) Hundreds were trampled and suffocated trying to get to the other end of the bridge, which was closed off. Many fell into the river and drowned. Members of the public blamed Defense Ministers for improperly securing the area but no one resigned or received any punishment.

2006 Norwegian police recovered Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream in a raid. Stolen two years before, the painting was said to be in a better-than-expected condition.

2006 Iran defied a U.N. deadline to stop enriching uranium. The U.N. council stipulated, however, that it would not impose sanctions without further negotiations.

2012 Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary, after Hungary pardoned Ramil Safarov. Safarov had been convicted of killing an Armenian soldier in 2004.

2012 A Tokyo court ruled Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets did not violate Apple patents and awarded legal costs to Samsung.

2016 The Brazilian Senate found President Dilma Rousseff guilty of violating Brazil's federal budget laws and voted 61-20 to remove her from office.

2019 Oil worker Seth Aaron Ator, fired from his job, went on a shooting spree with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in Midland and Odessa, Texas, killing seven and injuring 22 more. Ator bought the rifle privately, having failed a background check because of a "mental health issue." When police caught up with him at a movie complex in Odessa, he opened fire and wounded two officers before officers shot him dead.

Sunday, August 23, 2020


The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre by François Dubois

1572 Roman Catholic mobs killed 70,000 French Protestants, or Huguenots, in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in Paris.

1751 Hertfordshire authorities executed Thomas Colley for drowning a supposed witch.

1814 The British invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the White House and the Capitol during the War of 1812.

1954 At the height of McCarthyism, U.S. President Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, virtually outlawing the Communist Party in the U.S.

1970 A bomb planted by antiwar extremists exploded at the University of Wisconsin's Army Math Research Center in Madison, killing researcher Robert Fassnacht.

1981 Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Dennis Edwards sentenced Mark David Chapman to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of rock musician John Lennon.

1989 MLB Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned former player and Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose for gambling on his own team.

1990 A judge in Reno, NV dismissed a case against the band Judas Priest, ruling it was not responsible for the suicides of two youths after they had listened to the band's music.

2001 U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly was randomly picked to take over the Microsoft antitrust case. She was tasked with determining the extent of Microsoft’s monopolistic business practices and ended up accepting most of the settlement proposed by the Department of Justice.

2001 In 2001 In McAllen, TX, Bridgestone/Firestone agreed to settle out of court and pay a reported $7.5 million to the Rodriguez family of south Texas. Several members suffered injuries in a rollover accident in their Ford Explorer five months before Firestone announced the recall of 6.5 million tires.

2004 Chechnyan suicide bombers detonated explosive devices aboard two airliners departing Domodedovo International Airport, near Moscow, killing 89 passengers. An investigation revealed lax security and bribes allowed the two bombers, both female, to board the planes.

2007 A Florida judge sentenced convicted sex offender John Evander Couey to death for kidnapping 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, raping her, and burying her alive. Couey died in prison of natural causes before he could be executed.

2007 A federal judge sentenced James Ford Seale, a former Ku Klux Klansman, to three life terms for his role in the 1964 abduction and murder of two black teenagers in Mississippi. Seale and his cohorts suspected the young men were civil rights activists.

2007 The NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for his involvement in dogfighting.

2012 A California jury found Samsung guilty of patent infringement and awarded over $1 billion (U.S.) in damages to Apple. The same day, a South Korean court found both Apple and Samsung guilty of patent infringement.

2013 A gang battle involving flame throwers killed 30 people in Palmasola prison, a maximum-security facility in Bolivia.

2018 Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler sent a cease-and-desist letter to President Trump demanding he stop using the band's songs at rallies.

2019 Responding to intense media scrutiny, Britain's Prince Andrew released a statement denying any knowledge of his friend Jeffrey Epstein’s involvement in the sexual trafficking of underage girls.

Sunday, August 16, 2020



310 Roman emperor Maxentius banished Pope Eusebius to Sicily, where he promptly died, probably from a hunger strike. Eusebius believed Christians who had denied their faith during persecutions by the state should be allowed to take communion after proper penance.

1896 A few weeks after Parliament increased the speed limit for motor vehicles to 14 mph, a car traveling 4-8 mph struck and killed 44-year-old Bridget Driscoll as she crossed the grounds of the Crystal Palace in London. Driscoll was the first recorded case of a pedestrian killed in a collision with a motor car in the UK. A coroner's jury returned a verdict of "accidental death" after a six-hour inquest. Coroner Percy Morrison said he hoped "such a thing would never happen again."

1915 A mob in Cobb County, Ga., lynched Jewish businessman Leo Frank, who had been sentenced on flimsy evidence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan.

1962 On the first anniversary of Communist East Germany’s completion of the Berlin Wall, border guards shot and killed 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempted to cross over into the western sector, spurring riots.

1982 The U.S. Senate approved an immigration bill that granted permanent resident status to illegal aliens who had arrived in the U.S. before 1977.

1986 Forty-two people were beaten or stabbed at a Run D.M.C. concert in Long Beach, CA. Members of the rap group feared gang trouble and had requested extra security from police and auditorium management.

1987 Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's second in command, committed suicide at Spandau prison. The 93-year-old had been the only inmate there for more than 20 years.

1991 Taxi driver Wade Frankum went on a rampage in the Strathfield Plaza, a shopping mall in Sydney Australia, stabbing and shooting seven people and injuring six others before turning the gun on himself. Victim Gary Read, who was shot in both feet, was awarded the Star of Courage for saving more lives during the unexplained killing spree.

1998 A grand jury questioned U.S. President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He was the first U.S. president to testify as the subject of a grand jury investigation. Clinton admitted that he had an "improper physical relationship" with the intern and that night confessed on national television that that their relationship was "not appropriate."

2005 Terrorist set off more than 500 bombs at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh.

2005 Israeli security forces began the forcible removal of Jews from four settlements in the Gaza Strip.

2010 After 14 days of deliberation, a federal jury found ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of lying to federal agents but could not agree on the remaining 23 corruption charges lodged against him, and the judge declared a mistrial. After a retrial, he was found guilty of 17 charges and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Sunday, August 9, 2020


1776 Word of the U.S. Declaration of Independence reached London.

1792 Armed Revolutionary mobs stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris, forced King Louis XVI and his family to take refuge in the Legislative Assembly, and massacred the Swiss Guards. The National Convention found Louis guilty of high treason in December and executed him in January 1793.

1827 Friction between the Irish-American and African-American communities in Cincinnati intensified to the point that gangs of white citizens attacked blacks and destroyed their property. City leaders failed to protect black citizens, and by the end of August 1000 had fled to Canada.

1835 A mob of 500 white men destroyed the Noyes Academy in Canaan, New Hampshire, one of the first secondary schools in the U.S. to admit free blacks. The mob hooked a team of 90 oxen to the building, ripped it from the ground, and dragged it down the street. A vote at an official town meeting that declared the academy a "nuisance" protected the mob from legal action.

1920 Mexican revolutionary general and bandit Francisco "Pancho" Villa surrendered to Mexican federal authorities. When a bottle of Cognac was produced, Villa took a swig and pronounced, "I'm ready now to embrace my worst enemies."

1959 Police in Cincinnati arrested the four male members of the Platters singing group and charged them with aiding and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation. Although all four were acquitted, the charges seriously damaged record sales and airplay.

1962 Judge Adie Durden of Albany, Georgia, found Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and three other civil rights leaders guilty of disorderly conduct charges for staging racial demonstrations. He fined each $200 and sentenced them to 60 days in jail but immediately suspended the sentences and placed King and his associates on probation.

1969 Members of Charles Manson's cult murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Angeles home, one day after they killed actress Sharon Tate and four other people. A jury found Manson and three followers guilty on all counts of first-degree murder.

1970 The trial of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison for Lewd and Lascivious Behavior (a felony), Indecent Exposure, Open Profanity, and Public Drunkenness began in Miami, FL. Morrison allegedly exposed himself on stage during a show in Miami in 1969.  He was eventually found guilty of indecent exposure and open profanity, sentenced to six months in jail, fined $500, and released on bond. He flew to Paris, where he died in 1971. The Florida Clemency Board issued a pardon years later.

1972 Police in Sweden arrested Paul and Linda McCartney for drug possession backstage after a concert in Gothenburg. An unnamed employee in their office had mailed the couple six ounces of marijuana to enjoy on the road. Paul was fined $1,000 and Linda $200.

1977 In Yonkers, NY, police arrested and charged 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz with being the "Son of Sam," the serial killer who terrorized New York City for more than a year. Berkowitz confessed, pled guilty, and was sentenced to 365 years in prison for killing six people and wounding seven more.

1981 Investigators found the severed head of missing six-year-old Adam Walsh in a drainage ditch in rural Indian County, Florida, about 130 miles from where he disappeared two weeks before. Ottis Toole, a convicted serial killer, confessed to Adam's murder but was never charged for it due to a botched investigation. Adam's father John Walsh became an advocate for victims of violent crime.

1993 A freighter collided with two barges at the mouth of Tampa Bay, Fla., spilling 330,000 gallons of fuel oil and another 32,000 gallons of jet fuel, diesel fuel, and gasoline into the water. No one was killed but a five-mile-long slick developed and a thirteen-mile stretch of beach was fouled by the oil. “In 1999, the federal and state trustees reached an $8 million settlement with the vessel owners to resolve government claims, including cleanup and damage assessment costs, and restore natural resources” (

1994 U.S. President Clinton filed a motion to dismiss a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Corbin Jones on the grounds of presidential immunity. After years of legal wrangling, in 1998 Clinton paid Jones $850,000 in an out-of-court settlement with no acknowledgement of wrong-doing.

1995 A U.S. federal court indicted domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols for the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured more than 680. Michael Fortier plead guilty in a plea-bargain for his testimony.

1999 An Indian fighter jet shot down a Pakistani naval aircraft for crossing into Indian air space. Sixteen people were killed. Pakistan claimed the plane was on a routine exercise and lodged a compensation claim with the International Court of Justice, but the Court dismissed the case.

1999 White supremacist Buford O. Furrow, Jr. walked into the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center and opened fire with a submachine gun, wounding two adults and three boys. He fled the scene, carjacked a Toyota at gunpoint, killed a postal worker because he was Asian, and took a 275-mile taxi ride to Las Vegas, where he walked into an FBI office and confessed.

2006 Scotland Yard foiled a major terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives smuggled in hand luggage on ten aircraft travelling from the UK to the U.S. and Canada.

2009 The Handlová mine blast in Trencin Region, Slovakia, killed 20 people and injured nine. The deadly explosion occurred after mine rescuers had earlier been deployed to extinguish a fire in the Eastern shaft of the mine. Three mining company employees were eventually charged with negligence.

2018 A jury in California awarded $289 million to former groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson in the Monsanto "Roundup" case. Johnson contracted terminal cancer after using the popular weed killer.

Sunday, August 2, 2020


435 Roman Emperor Theodosius II exiled deposed Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, considered the originator of Nestorianism, to a monastery in Egypt.

1907 U.S. federal judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis fined Standard Oil of Indiana a record $29.4 million for illegal rebating to freight carriers; the conviction and fine were later reversed on appeal.

1921 More from Kenesaw Mountain Landis: As Major League Baseball Commissioner, he confirmed the ban of the eight Chicago Black Sox, the day after a Chicago court found them not guilty of conspiracy to defraud the public concerning the 1919 World Series.

1948 Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist, publicly accused former U.S. State Department official Alger Hiss of having been part of a Communist underground and a spy for the Soviet Union, charges Hiss denied.

1959 Portugal's state police force PIDE fired into a crowd of striking Pidjiguiti dockworkers seeking higher pay in Bissau, Portuguese Guinea, killing at least 25 people and wounding many more. After the government arrested members of PAIGC, a peaceful group campaigning for independence from Portugal, PAIGC determined nonviolent resistance would not achieve its goals. An armed struggle lasted from 1963-1974, when Portugal finally granted independence to all of Portuguese Africa.

1969 Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was indicted for failure to report for civilian duty as a hospital orderly in lieu of serving two years in the army. He’d already been arrested twice for draft evasion, starting in 1967, and offered his musical services as an alternative. Wilson's draft board finally accepted his proposal in 1971.

1987 The Iran-Contra congressional hearings ended. None of the 29 witnesses tied President Ronald Reagan directly to the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.

1988 The Soviet Union released German pilot Mathias Rust, 19, after 14 months in custody. He’d landed a plane in Moscow's Red Square to create “an imaginary bridge” to the East during the Cold War.

1995 Jordanian authorities extradited Eyad Ismoil to the U.S. to face charges that he had driven the van that blew up in the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in Manhattan in 1993. The explosion killed six people, injured more than 1,000, and caused $500 million in damages to the WTC complex. Ismoil was found guilty of conspiracy, sentenced to 240 years in prison, fined $250,000, and ordered to pay $10 million in restitution.

2005 The Military Council for Justice and Democracy staged a coup d’état in Mauritania, ousting long-time President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya while he was out of the country attending the funeral of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia. The military leaders kept their promise to hold a presidential election within two years, but the next president was also deposed in a military coup d'état a year after taking office.

2007 Chilean authorities captured former Deputy Director of the Chilean secret police Raúl Iturriaga Neumann, one of the best-known convicted human rights abusers from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Iturriaga was in charge of a secret torture center, was wanted on murder and attempted murder charges in at least three countries, and was sentenced on a kidnapping charge in June 2007 before going into hiding.

2009 Bolivia became the first South American country to declare the right of indigenous people to govern themselves.

2010 Widespread rioting erupted in Karachi, Pakistan, after the assassination of Parliament member Raza Haider of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement political party. Four gunmen shot down him and a bodyguard in a gangland-style hit as they attended a funeral at a mosque. At least 85 were killed in the riots that caused 17 billion Pakistani rupees (US$200 million) in damages over the several days.

2011 Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denied all charges against him as he went on trial for alleged corruption and complicity in the deaths of protesters who'd helped drive him from power.

2018 Two burka-clad men killed 29 people and injured more than 80 in a suicide attack on a Shia mosque in eastern Afghanistan. Security forces shot one of the men dead and the other assailant made his way into a hall where people were hiding and blew himself up. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

2019 Police in Moscow arrested 600 protesters, including opposition leader Lyubov Sobol, in an election protest attended by as many as 20,000.

2019 Racist gunman Patrick Crusius killed 23 people and injured 23 more in a shooting in a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. He faces multiple federal and state charges.