Sunday, March 8, 2015


ON THIS DAY 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight vanishes with more than 200 people aboard On this day in 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, loses contact with air traffic control less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur then veers off course and disappears. Despite a massive air-and-sea search effort for the Beijing-bound Boeing 777, investigators have still not found the plane nore its passengers. American Revolution 1782 Pennsylvania militiamen senselessly murder Patriot allies On this day in 1782, 160 Pennsylvania militiamen murder 96 Christian Indians–39 children, 29 women and 28 men–by hammering their skulls with mallets from behind as they kneel unarmed, praying and singing, in their Moravian Mission at Gnadenhuetten in the Ohio Country. 1950 VW bus, icon of counterculture movement, goes into production Volkswagen, maker of the Beetle automobile, expands its product offerings to include a microbus, which goes into production on this day in 1950. Known officially as the Volkswagen Type 2 (the Beetle was the Type 1) or the Transporter, the bus was a favorite mode of transportation for hippies. Civil War 1862 C.S.S. Virginia terrorizes Union navy On this day in 1862, the Confederate ironclad Virginia wreaks havoc on a Yankee squadron off Hampton Roads, Virginia. The C.S.S. Virginia was originally the U.S.S. Merrimack, a 40-gun frigate launched in 1855. The Merrimack served in the Caribbean and was the flagship of the Pacific fleet in the late 1850s. Cold War 1982 United States accuses Soviets of using poison gas The United States government issues a public statement accusing the Soviet Union of using poison gas and chemical weapons in its war against rebel forces in Afghanistan. The accusation was part of the continuing U.S. criticism of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. 1951 The Lonely Hearts Killers are executed The Lonely Hearts Killers, Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez, are executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in New York. The strange couple had schemed to seduce, rob and murder women who placed personal ads in newspapers. Disaster 1669 Mount Etna erupts On this day in 1669, Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily in modern-day Italy, begins rumbling. Multiple eruptions over the next few weeks killed more than 20,000 people and left thousands more homeless. General Interest 1801 Anglo-Ottoman force takes Abukir Bay During the Napoleonic Wars, combined British and Ottoman forces successfully establish a foothold in French-occupied Egypt at Abukir Bay. In taking the strategic naval port, some 1,100 British soldiers perished, including Sir Ralph Abercromby, the commander of the amphibious operation. 1957 Egypt opens the Suez Canal Following Israel’s withdrawal from occupied Egyptian territory, the Suez Canal is reopened to international traffic. However, the canal was so littered with wreckage from the Suez Crisis that it took weeks of cleanup by Egyptian and United Nations workers before larger ships could navigate the waterway. Hollywood 1993 MTV’s highest rated series premieres On this day in 1993, the Music Television Network (MTV) airs the first episode of the animated series Beavis and Butthead, which will go on to become the network’s highest-rated series up to that point. Beavis and Butthead offered audiences rude and crude buddy humor in the tradition of The Three Stooges.

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